SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTHI) - A newly-passed Illinois law forbids companies from requiring potential employees to turn over their usernames and passwords for most social media websites.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn passed the measure this week and said the practice being outlawed violated workers' privacy.
"Privacy is a fundamental issue … a fundamental right of every single person," Quinn said. "It's off-limits for your employer in the State of Illinois to be asking for your password for your Facebook account."
Still, career counselors said it's important for those looking for jobs, do not post objectionable photos or statements in places online where they can be seen by potential employers.
"I've spoken with employers before who say they will absolutely Google someone they're bringing in for an interview and at least look and see if there are any red flags that come up in those first few search result pages," said Ryan Smolko, a Career Coordinator at Indiana State University.
Despite the potential harm social networking can do to, Smolko said sites like Twitter and LinkedIn can also be a positive way for job seekers to find open positions and advertise themselves to potential employers.
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