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Friend your boss at your peril
Friend your boss at your peril

Thousands of young Aussies might have to update their Facebook status from 'hired' to 'fired' sooner than they'd like.

Almost one-third of workers aged between 18 and 25 are friends with their boss on social media, a new survey has found.

But more than half them - 58 per cent - admit they've never cleared potentially career-damaging content from their profiles.

According to a worldwide survey by anti-virus company AVG, 13 per cent of working Gen Yers in Australia admit to posting abusive content about their boss or company after a bad day at work.

They're not nearly as angry as young employees in Italy, where 18 per cent express their emotions online.

Nor are they as fearless as the 80 per cent of Spanish young adults who say they've posted inappropriate images online. Only 28 per cent of Australians admit to sharing unsuitable pictures on social networking sites.

The survey also found that one in 12 young Aussies had been asked in a job interview about things they've posted online.

AVG's Australian security adviser Michael McKinnon said the level of comfort with social media was blurring the line between young people's professional and private lives.

"It seems obvious that posting abusive content about a boss or workplace is not very sensible, but it's important to understand that not only could it damage a person's existing career, it could negatively impact on future opportunities too," Mr McKinnon said in a statement.

The survey canvassed 4400 people in 11 countries.

RESULTS OF A SURVEY BY AVG TECHNOLOGIES ABOUT YOUNG AUSTRALIAN WORKERS' INTERACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • Nearly one-third of working Australians, aged between 18-25, are Facebook friends with their boss

  • 13 per cent admit they post abusive content online about their boss or company

  • 54 per cent have never audited their online profile or cleaned up potentially career-damaging content

  • 58 per cent say they accessed social network sites on their phones because they were banned at work

  • 38 per cent don't restrict work colleagues from their Facebook profile

  • Only 28 per cent admit to posting inappropriate images online, compared with 80 per cent of Spanish users

(Source: AVG Technologies' Digital Diaries study, 2012)