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Are your 'frolleagues' ruining your career?

Social networking etiquette rules
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Social networking etiquette rules

Workers risk damaging their career by mixing professional and personal contacts online, it has been claimed.

Business networking site LinkedIn is warning about the growing phenomena of "frolleagues" - a colleague who requests you as a friend online.

While three-quarters of workers believe there is a need to keep professional and personal contacts separate, frolleagues are becoming more regular. One in three workers feel obliged to accept a professional contact as a personal one but doing so raises the risk of mixing business with pleasure - with potentially unfortunate results.

LinkedIn said it's becoming increasingly important to keep professional and social lives separate.

Jo Bryant, etiquette advisor from Debrett's, the experts in modern manners said in a statement: "Always employ your usual good manners when online. Work out who your true frolleagues are, and remember that social networking is meant to enhance your social and professional life, not obliterate it."

The social networking company has come up with some top tips for managing your online identity, with suggestions including:

  • Set-up a separate professional network online to ensure your business contacts don't mix with your friends online.
  • Only connect with a colleague on a social level online if you know them socially outside of the workplace.
  • Remember that what you post online will reflect on your reputation in the real world.
  • Regularly review your images online to ensure they don't appear too unprofessional.
  • Ensure you understand and use security settings so only those you trust can access your personal information.
  • Be willing to turn down a friend request from a friend or colleague.
  • Don't make false claims or set up fake profiles on social network sites.
  • Don't conduct business conversations in an environment viewed by your social circle.
  • Don't post sensitive information about yourself such as addresses, birth-dates or phone numbers.

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