40% Indians feel controversial online posts may get them fired

New Delhi: More than 40 per cent Indian respondents polled agreed that they could get fired for controversial content on their social media channels, according to a survey by cybersecurity solutions firm McAfee.

Interestingly, more than a quarter (30.6 per cent) admitted to only deleting posts after a crisis, and 25.7 per cent “confessed” to posting negative content about their current workplace. The survey – which included 1,000 adults in India – underlined the risks to professional reputation on account of controversial content on social media profiles.

“McAfee reveals that 40.7 per cent Indians agree that they could get fired for controversial content on their social media channels… (About) 33.7 per cent of respondents said they haven’t done anything to change social media privacy settings despite knowing how to,” it said. The survey found 21.4 per cent respondents worrying that content on their social profiles would negatively affect career/job prospects.

However, more than half (55.4 per cent) of these respondents said they have at least one dormant social media account, with 41 per cent admitting they’ve not even thought about deleting inactive accounts or giving them a clear out.

On the positive side, McAfee also revealed that 63.1 per cent respondents have set up a social media profile, specifically for professional use with 46.9 per cent preferring to keep personal and work life separate. Of those aged 16-24 years, 31.4 per cent agreed that social media content is important to their career prospects, compared to 24.6 per cent of those aged 35-44 years. Of those aged 16-24 years, 41.1 per cent said they are very careful about social media content they post and are tagged in, as compared to 35.6 per cent of those aged 45-55 years.

Despite this, Indians still have a lot of unsavoury content on their current social media channels, which is NSFW (Not Safe For Work), McAfee said. The top 10 NSFW posts Indians are most embarrassed by on their social media included comments that can be perceived offensive (like insulting someone or controversial views), wearing an embarrassing outfit, being in a fight and wardrobe malfunction.

“Now, more than ever before, we need to be mindful of how we represent ourselves online. It is important to indulge in sharing content that paints you in a professional and positive light and avoid posting any content that can tarnish your professional image,” vice-president of Engineering and managing director, McAfee India, Venkat Krishnapur, said. Consumers must conduct regular digital health checks on their social media accounts – personal and professional, he added.