Why Facebook and Myspace could cost you your job?

A survey by recruitment firm Badenoch and Clark shows that 75 percent of UK employees affirm that they do not access social networking websites - like Bebo, Facebook or Myspace - during office hours.

That's a far cry from what previous data showed; back in January, a poll conducted by Information security consultancy - Global Secure Systems (GSS) - and Infosecurity Europe 2008 showed that Social Network browsing had reached epidemic proportions in UK Plc, costing an estimated GBP 6.5 billion in lost productivity.

Another survey by Sophos showed that approximately one in seven Facebook users confessed to being logged onto Facebook almost permanently during their working day; a feat for a website that has just celebrated its fourth birthday.

Badenoch and Clark's data points to the fact that a growing number of British executives are looking at social networks to find out whether candidates are suitable or not.

Andy Powell, a director at Badenoch & Clark, said it is too easy to forget that the internet is public where prospective employers are only a few clicks away from a hidden skeleton, adding that "Most people have many elements to their online presence, but they don't all necessarily show us in the best light. More employers are taking note of 'net reputation' so it is right to be a bit careful."

Another report published by Networking website Viadeo, found out that 20 percent of employers have used social networking sites to look for information on candidates - together with other tools like Google, background checks - and almost two thirds said that what they found had influenced a recruitment decision.