Create a positive digital footprint online

20 Oct 2015 UK SIC

Your digital footprint is the mark that you leave behind when using the internet and can shape your online reputation. Your digital footprints are made up of the content you create, post and share; as well as the content that others post, and share, with you and about you.

To help you manage and maintain your online reputation we have a simple checklist:

  • Search yourself online: do you know what is online about you? Do a simple web search of your name and see what you can find. If you find something you aren’t happy with, take the necessary steps to get that content removed. Remember if your Facebook or Twitter pages appear you can change this by adjusting your privacy settings.
  • Check privacy settings: make sure you know what information you are sharing on the websites you use, in particular on social networking sites. Most social networking sites have privacy settings to help you manage the content you share and who you share it with; you can decide if you want your posts to be shared with your online friends and followers only or with the public. Keep in mind that your friend’s content and their settings can also affect your digital footprint.
  • Think before you post: before you post that funny picture of your friend, or make that joke about someone on Twitter, ask yourself do you want everyone to see it; friends, family, grandparents, future employers? Would you be happy for others to post that type of content about you? You should be proud of everything you post online, remember once it is online it could potentially be there forever!
  • Deactivate and delete: when you stop using a social networking profile or website, it’s a good idea to deactivate or delete your account. This will mean the content is no longer live and should not be searchable online; it will also remove the risk of these accounts being hacked without you knowing. 
  • Make a positive footprint: we hear a lot about the negative footprints left behind online. The best way to keep your online reputation in check is to use your time online to get creative and create a positive footprint.  For example why not write a blog to promote all the great things you are doing, fundraise for a charity using an online sponsorship page or create a video to teach others something new.

Download a copy of Childnet’s Online Repuation Checklist.  

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