Could you face a Facebook firing?

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Yesterday an employment tribunal found in favour of Apple, after the company sacked Samuel Crisp, a worker who slammed his iPhone and his job on Facebook

He is one of a growing number of people who have found themselves suddenly unemployed over a Facebook faux pas. So how can you avid joining their number?
Crisp, was axed from the Apple store in Chapel-field in Norwich after his boss found out about the posts. One of Crisp's Facebook friends, who also worked at the store, ratted on him after he complained about an app and more generally about work.

He had claimed unfair dismissal, but a tribunal found for Apple, because it has a clear social media policy banning criticism of the brand. The tribunal also pointed out that Facebook posts were never truly private as they were so easily forwarded.

Are you at risk?

Never have our private and work lives been so intertwined. Facebook and Twitter aren't just places where we sound off to 200 of our closest friends, it's also somewhere the rest of the world may be able to read our views - including our employers.

And our bosses are increasingly likely to be keeping an eye on this sort of thing – from checking your Facebook page as part of the recruitment process to monitoring Twitter mentions of the brand.

So how can you avoid the risks of a Facebook sacking? There are five golden rules.

1) Pass the 'boss' test

Assume everything on your Facebook page will be read by your boss. With the wrong privacy settings this could well be the case. However, it's also a good way to ensure you don't write anything that could come back to bite you later. If your boss would be shocked, don't write it.

2) Review your privacy settings

At the very least make sure that only your friends can see anything you put on your profile.

3) Don't assume you are safe

Don't think that restricting your privacy settings to friends will protect you. Even if you have taken the precaution of hiding everything from everyone but your friends, there is always the chance of something getting back to your boss. It's also vital to regularly look through your list of friends to make sure they are really friends of yours.

4) Beware of photographs.

Gone are the days when we can go for a night out, or risk fancy dress, without the danger that the world will see the photos. Ideally talk to your friends and make sure no incriminating photos leak out. A worst, make sure no photos are tagged with your name or they will become part of your profile.

5) Think before you write

We have all wanted to fire off a comment in the heat of the moment, but it pays to be circumspect. Take a deep breath, make a cup of tea, think of what your mum would say if she saw it, and do something else to let off steam instead. If in doubt, don't write anything at all.

Sometimes your mum is right. If you can't think of anything nice to say, then don't say anything.
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