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TheStreet Open House

How to Be Friends With Your Boss on Facebook (Without Getting Fired)

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- To friend or not to friend your boss, that is the question.

A new survey from Cisco finds that 70% of employees worldwide are friends with their "managers and/or co-workers" on Facebook, but in the U.S. just 25% of employees say they are connected to co-workers and managers on Facebook.

Friending your boss on Facebook exposes you to all sorts of job risks, but there are smart ways to do it.

It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that many workers are still hesitant to friend colleagues on Facebook. There have been one too many stories of employees being fired after posting questionable pictures or status updates on Facebook that were seen by their co-workers or managers. Even those who feel uncomfortable about connecting with co-workers and bosses on Facebook may feel pressured to do so, though, if the boss initiates it or if they notice others in the company have already done it.

If you feel pressured to friend a boss on Facebook, there are three things you should do to make sure that you don't accidentally share something with him or her that will end up hurting your career.

Customize the sharing settings for each co-worker.
As soon as you're connected officially to your manager on Facebook, take a minute to adjust the settings for what you share with him or her. You can do this by going to your boss's profile page, clicking on the box at the top that says "Friends" and clicking on "Settings." This will give you the option to check off what types of content you want to share with that user. So, for example, you might want to share "life event" updates (such as signing up for new courses or changing neighborhoods), but you might prefer not to share photos just in case one of them is a little too personal.

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