By now almost everyone has heard about the perils of posting private information on social networking sites, because bosses, co-workers and prospective employers may draw conclusions about your character based upon the content. But what about those photos on your cell phone, or those text messages from your buddies? Could you damage your career if someone happens to look over your shoulder while you’re communicating with friends? The answer is yes.
A former ESPN analyst created a row when he showed co-workers inappropriate photos on his cell phone. A teacher was recently canned when her students reportedly discovered risque photos while playing with her phone while she was away. While these incidents were the result of poor judgment, they serve as a reminder to keep personal communication devices away from prying eyes.
Even though the device is your personal property, you could be opening a can of worms if you retrieve messages at the office. Don’t leave your PDA in your briefcase or purse while you run down the hall, and don’t leave the device in your desk drawer while you attend meetings. Instead turn the device off and take it with you, so you don’t tempt curious co-workers.