Young people leaving a so-called digital footprint have been told they could be compromising their future employment.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a survey revealing that 60 per cent of 14 to 21-year-olds did not know that information online such as blogs could be accessed in the future.
David Smith, ICO deputy commissioner, noted that information about a candidate found on the web by employers could jeopardise their chance of being accepted.
"The cost to a person's future can be very high if something undesirable is found by the increasing number of educational institutions and employers using the internet as a tool to vet potential students or employees," he said.
A further 70 per cent of those surveyed admitted they would not want an employer to look at their profile page on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Bebo.
With years of experience of online recruiting, ClickAJob chief executive Yngve Traberg is far more positive.
"It's more the other way round," he says. "With care and attention, a good online presence is a unique opportunity to stage-manage your career - a dynamic showcase for advancing yourself."
Recognising this, Mr Traberg points out that top companies like Ernst & Young and the Big Four consultancies are already recruiting through Facebook, LinkedIn and Second Life.
"Even security-obsessed organisations like the CIA are doing it," he remarks.
"In Europe, it is already common practice to keep your CV online permanently, a way for employers to monitor your progress and maintain an accurate shortlist against any sudden or unforeseen need."
Asset or liability? "Everyone has the choice," he comments, "like everyday life it's up to the individual to present themselves positively".