back to article Job-seeking university bods panic over incriminating online info

Nearly half of university students are fretting about their future job prospects due to concerns about what personal information about them is lurking on the interwebs. The Information Commissioner's Office tasked YouGov with asking around 500 students across Blighty to take part in the survey. It found that 42 per cent, or …

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  1. J.G.Harston Silver badge
    WTF?

    Continuing the maths lesson for the hard of thinking...

    half (50 percent), one (1), two (2), ten (10) etc.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Simple solution

    Change your name.

    on a not unrelated point:

    > ... redirection of all their important post to their current ...

    Roughly translates as "didn't want the debt collectors / psycho ex-partners to know where they lived now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a question for the questionaire: "Who made this information on you publicly available?"

  4. DavCrav Silver badge
    Happy

    It doesn't seem to have affected me, as I just got a job two hours ago. Whoo hoo!

  5. Just Thinking

    Put another way

    A quarter of students checked their credit rating in the previous year? That's more than I would have expected.

    What a racket. We'll gather information about you from various unreliable sources then hand it over to the banks whenever you apply for a loan. The information is probably wrong, but pay us a fee and we will consider correcting it.

    If a quarter of students are doing this (and presumably will continue forever) what proportion of the general population are coughing up on an annual basis?

  6. RichyS
    Facepalm

    Maths

    Thanks for explaining that 42% is also (roughly) 4 in 10. And that a third can also be viewed as 33%. All. The. Way through the bloody article.

    Maybe the students of today should be less worried about incrimination stuff online, and learn some basic maths.

  7. Bakunin
    Big Brother

    Sample Bias

    Said 500 students who where already prepared to regularly partake in thorough surveys about their habits and opinions.

    I understand that YouGov does generate some interesting survey results, but they are a private marketing company. Surely some of the more privacy savvy students wouldn't even have taken the survey in the first place throwing the sample set out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Congrats....

      Now keep shining my shoes!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Scumbags know it!

      The info is "classfied" unless you cough up some wonga, then we'll let you have a little peek. However we'll only show you enough to know that the previous owner of your property defaulted on a loan about 10 years before you moved in, so you're tarred with the same brush!

      I know, I had to pay £15 to learn and clear up the mess that my address was blacklisted by the previous owner after I was refused two bank loans. Of course each failed credit check added more black marks to my record!

      Want a better rating? Borrow more money! Can't borrow money 'cos you have black marks? Tough luck pikey, you'd better go speak to that rather shifty gentleman in the corner of the pub, yeah the one with the gold Sovereign rings who never works but always has loads of money to spare, just don't get too attached to your kneecaps though!

      Credit rating is one big flipping con and those scumbags know it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If a modern credit agency did what you suggest in your first paragraph that would be illigal, and has been for nearly 20 years. You could therefore sue the ass off them for damages and defamation, etc...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          err

          "identity theft"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have only ever checked my credit rating once, and that was about 20 years ago when working on software that accessed a ratings agency.

      While I was working on that project the law was changed so that noone could be rated according to previous owners/tenents, offspring, ex-partners, and a whole bunch or other things.

      If I ever got a bad rating it would be because of something I my someday do that was stupid, or I sue the credit rating firm. All credit rating firms are required to verify all information and are liable for wrong information causing someone trouble.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The whole banking system is a racket.

      Give us your money effectively.

      You can withdraw some of it.

      (Only £250 of it at a bank machine, mind. And any more over the counter and we will whinge and question why).

      Because employers insist on paying BACS, and uk.gov even with their pensions/benefits, every has to have an account.

      All the while they are getting rich off the interest on your money, throwing it about, then when they are on the verge of bankruptcy / running the economy into the ground, get huge bailouts to stop them failing. All while they can tell you - whos money is *in* the bank, NO to that mortgage application / car loan / credit card (for company expenses).

    5. Chris007
      FAIL

      came late to this article

      but totally agree with the first 2 posters - has the IQ of the El Reg readership really got that bad?

      FAIL: For thinking that we need it explaining and a double FAIL for those that do need it explaining

  8. Citizen Kaned

    thx....

    "It found that 42 per cent, or four out of 10 respondents", ah thanks for that and any 9 years olds that might not understand :)

    to me, if students are too stupid to set facebook to private viewing then they dont deserve a job. their degree was most likely worthless (as most are these days)

  9. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    Welcome to the real world

    Finals over, the party is winding down.

    Oh S*&t everything I said over the last few years is there on the internet for ever and ever.

    The next day in the office after a party always brought a few red faces, now those embarrassing gaffs will last for ever and like everything else on the net, someone has indexed them. In the past the photocopies of your arse soon disappeared and unless you were unlucky enough to have fallen through the glass everyone has probably forgotten them. Now they'll remain - probably in high res glory.

    Worse still it is probably not just your embarrassing gaffs, your prospective employer is probably checking out all your mates profiles too.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "tasked"?

    Hopefully, some of those students can speak English. ElReg is looking for editors, I hear.

  11. Dave Bell

    Multiple addresses

    The number of times I have heard of the problems arising from a previous resident at an address, not even with the same name, I wonder how ex-students can ever get approved for credit. It took several years before we stopped getting advertising, both by post and from foreign-based call centres ignoring the TPS, aimed at the previous occupiers of this house.

    It's become very easy to get old and useless data about people, and nobody seems to care about maintaining the sort of current and correct records expected under the DPA. I'm not surprised that students worry, and I'm not surprised that some might be trying to stay off the radar.

  12. heyrick Silver badge

    "but many may not know what they can do about it"

    Like that Google bloke says - move house and change your name.

    Simples.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it really mean...

    ..."In tough times, young people are clearly less relaxed about privacy, particularly in relation to information that they post online..."

    Or more to the point, they are extremely relaxed most of the time and generally lazy when it comes to important/responsible/tasks for the future. If you could convince them that looking after their info now will mean more parties and dossing for longer then you'd have a massive upsurge of young folk securing their personal info.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Googled my name. Not good. Worst offender being yasni.co.uk dredging pretty much everything from my past up. Some things I would prefer to remain off record (like that complaint I made against a certain company). I wish I had used a pseudonym from day one but back then I never thought things would come back to haunt me.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Not a problem I have.

      Yours sincerely,

      John Smith

      1. Armando 123

        Bit of a problem for me, though.

        Sincerely,

        Saddam Hitler of Akron

    2. JulianB

      Just Googled mine, which is far less common than John Smith. On the first five pages (got bored after that), one photo was of me but none of the articles related at all. It does concern me that a prospective employer might look me up on the web and find someone else's employment history, publications, holiday photos, even before we get to criminal records and distasteful political opinions.

  15. s0lace

    Just don't have your important mail sent to your uni address (i.e. student house/accomodation) and keep it at as your old address (i.e. parents house).

    That's what I did when I was at uni anyway. There is no point on changing it every year for the 4 years you're at uni.

    Most people head back home (at least for a while) after uni anyway.

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Credit check checks

    Over here in the colonies the number of checks on your credit rating somehow counts against your credit rating ( not sure why )

    I just had to sign a whole stack of disclaimers for the bank to be allowed to check my credit score to give me a new credit card.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Uncertainty & Risk...

      A lot of recent credit searches implies a lot of recent applications for credit. So the liklihood is that your debt levels will soon increase. All other things being equal, a heavily indebted person is more risky - i.e. likely to default if something goes wrong - than someone with little debt to service.

      The weighting given to recent searches individually is relatively small but there are a number of factors that interact with it. Ulitmately it is simply factoring in added uncertainty. Note, checks done by yourself, or just to verify your identity should not have any impact on the score.

      Just for your interest... Anon for obvious reasons!

  17. Mike Richards Silver badge

    In short

    Facebook's target audience is relaxed about privacy.

  18. joshimitsu
    FAIL

    privacy settings

    gotta check em more often than your wall.

  19. Furbian
    Go

    Don't put it up, or have two accounts.

    If you don't want all and sundry to know about your antics, then don't put them there? If you are too thick not to realise that then you get what's coming to you.

    Or if you want to show your potential employer that you look after 3rd world orphans etc. then have TWO facebook pages, one for you wild partying (private to select wild party goers) and one to show your good charity work, fully public.

    Personally, I keep one. No photos of me. Nothing embarrassing. The odd political comment.Until facebook 'police' make it illegal for me not to state where I really live, it appears that I live in Ulan Battar, and apparently only one person inspires me, Barbara Cartland (which doesn't quite sit with liking New Order, Ian M. Banks, Frank Herbert ...).

  20. Semaj
    Facepalm

    If they are ashamed of what's online then they shouldn't have been doing it in public in the first place. If you do something in public you have to assume it will get on the net and all your peers current and future will see it.

  21. John Overment

    Eh?

    “In tough times, young people are clearly less relaxed about privacy, particularly in relation to information that they post online – but many may not know what they can do about it"

    Don't post it online?

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