Your digital footprints includes all traces of your online activity, including your comments on news articles, posts on social media, and records of your online purchases. When you know the boundaries of your digital footprint and take steps to contain it, you can help protect your identity and your reputation. Here are expert tips for managing your digital footprint
Be consistent and professional in what you say online
Ensure your posts are truthful, factual, something you believe and something appropriate for your boss/parent/mentor to read. Operate under the assumption that nothing is private or sacred on the internet. It’s almost impossible to delete something permanently so if in doubt, don’t post. It’s also best to avoid getting drawn into a heated debate online in a public forum, or even in ‘private’ exchanges that could easily be shared unbeknownst to you.
Be aware of what other people are saying about you online
You can adjust your account settings to have notifications sent to you when other people mention you, tag you, like, comment or share content on your feed. You can also enable approval rights when you are tagged in other people’s posts or photos, so they don’t automatically appear on your timeline unless you’ve reviewed and approved them.
Be accurate – check spelling and grammar in your profiles and posts
Take time to check that your profile information and posts include correct spelling and grammar to maintain your aura of professionalism. It’s important to remember that poor writing, no matter how casual the communication, can be a big turn-off to someone checking up on you.
Be sure – get a second opinion on your profile pictures and text
Ask a work colleague or friend if they would do business with the person in your profile? If not, change it and ask again.
Be current – have up-to-date information
No matter what stage you’re at in your career, whether you are looking to do business, build your network or looking for a job – having up-to-date information on your profiles will ensure that people will be able to contact you and know what you’re about.
Be savvy – incorporate appropriate keywords in your profiles and posts
Think about what words potential employers or recruiters would use in trying to find someone like you in relation to what you do. Incorporating keywords in your profile specific to your skills and job experience will help you get found in relevant searches, and will point employers to your background or interests as they relate to opportunities in their organisation. It could also help you to expand your networks by connecting you with like-minded people.
Be considered with your contacts
You can and should connect with whomever you like, but don’t feel the need to connect with people you don’t want or need to, or keep connections if they are a detriment to you.
Be clutter-free – close down accounts you don’t need
There is no point in having accounts open or visible if you don’t use them.
Be proud of your achievements
Include extra information in your profiles about hobbies, interests, awards, volunteering and charity work. Friends, employers and business networks will all be interested to read about your other successes.
Be thorough – check your profile settings periodically
Make a habit of checking your profile settings periodically. Social networks are constantly evolving their platforms and as a result their terms, conditions and management settings may change too