The Washington Post recently published an article reiterating the importance of caution when it comes to social media for college applicants. While not new advice, this caution is especially important now with inflated application rates (and thus rejection rates) with the suspension of mandatory standardized testing.

Seventeen percent of the college admission officials surveyed mentioned that they regularly scanned social media to check the credentials of applicants, likely a percentage that is largely centered on the most competitive schools, where there are hair-splitting differences between candidates.

While privacy settings provide some degree of security, once an image or a shared meme is out there, the internet does not forget easily. Once pandora’s box has been opened, it can take extreme efforts to put the furies back in, if one ever can. As the article mentioned, one very helpful trick is the “grandparent test.” If you would not reveal the post to a grandparent, than it shouldn’t be shared publicly.

In a world when online disaster is one click away, it’s advice that bears repeating to those aspiring to great college careers: be careful what you post. the regrets can be life long.