With nearly 500 million people on Facebook these days, it’s no wonder work experts describe social networking sites as “the new water coolers.” The one big difference is that water cooler gossip rarely costs anyone their job! Here are some of the latest examples of people getting fired over what they say on Facebook, according to Forbes magazine:

First: There was the Atlanta police officer who was caught posting sensitive information about his job, including details about an open drug case, and the times he’d be on duty as an undercover cop.
Also: A 16-year-old was fired after only three weeks on the job, when her boss discovered her online work journal. One typical post read, quote: “First day at work. Oh my God, so dull!”
Next: You might have heard about the 13 crew members from Virgin Atlantic airlines, who posted insults about passengers, and claimed the company planes were full of cockroaches.
How about the Georgia school teacher, who was caught posting photos of herself getting drunk in Europe, and making racy comments in her status updates. School officials decided she was setting a bad example for students, and asked her to resign.
Finally: A Nebraska prison guard was fired after he allegedly bragged online about injuring an inmate.

Those are just the latest examples of people getting fired over what they say on Facebook. Experts say they won’t be the last. That’s because more than half of all employers now routinely use the Internet to keep tabs on their employees. In fact, many use software like Social Sentry, which can track employee activity on any Website – including Twitter, Facebook and You Tube -- in real time -- using any electronic device! So, if we haven’t made it loud and clear by now: Be very careful about what you post online these days – whether you’re on the job, or just talking about your job.