How to curate your digital footprint — and why it matters!
While interests and trends change, your digital footprint is a legacy that will remain for years to come.
According to Forbes, 50.8% of the global population will be technologically “connected” in 2019, for the first time in history. As our habits continue to evolve with the latest social media trends, we split our lives between online interaction and in-person meetups (where we then take photos to immortalize our memories in social media.)
Whether you’re a student, entrepreneur, community leader, politician, or anyone in-between, it’s important to be intentional about understanding and curating a positive digital footprint.
First thing’s first: What is a digital footprint?
Unlike an actual footprint in the sand along the beach, a digital footprint — your online reputation — never gets washed away. Your internet trail includes every social profile you’ve created, every photo you’ve posted (or someone has posted of you or for you), and everything you’ve written from blogs and articles to posts on discussion boards and forums.
While interests and trends change, your digital footprint is a legacy that will remain for years to come. Consider the following 5 tips as a digital approach to cleaning up your online closet.
Map your existing content.Type your name into Google and other search engines, even Facebook. Be sure to also click the “Images” tab and take note of the information that’s available to the public.
Evaluate your current situation.Log into your existing social profiles and prepare to clean house. (Remember that LiveJournal from the early 00s?) Is there anything there that shouldn’t be? Pay attention to privacy, sharing, and tagging settings. Facebook has a great Timeline and Tagging feature that allows you to approve/decline requests from friends that tag you in anything.
Populate your presence.A good digital footprint should reflect the things you value in life. What are you trying to portray? Do you hope to be seen by a recruiter or potential client? Are you representing an organization you believe in? Think about these questions and answer before you share anything online.
Stay connected.Publicly engaging with LinkedIn articles, for example, will align you with your interests while showing you’re passionate about the topic and excited to share insights with an audience.
Maintain your work.We recommend setting up automatic updates with Google Alerts. Just because you didn’t post a photo from last night’s happy hour outing, doesn’t mean your friends follow these same rules.