Your Digital Footprint says a lot about you, and it’s important that you keep it the way that you want employers and college admissioners to see it. When you apply for a job, one of the first things that employers will do is look up is your name. It only takes seconds to do and can really harm you if they find anything possibly unsuitible for the job you applied for. Your application can be negatively affected by your digital footprint and any social media that is under your name can be easily searched only by typing in your full name. Having a bad digital footprint can not only affect the outcome of a job application, but can also negatively alter the views of not only yourself but people who are related to you like your family. This is why managing your digital footprint is essential to you and others.
One strategy to positively manage your digital footprint is to keep your identity as safe as possible when online. Openly sharing account information, your address, information about family members who do not actively use social media or browse online can all affect your digital footprint. Making sure you keep this under wraps is a good start to a healthy digital footprint.
Another strategy is to have a mindset where you must understand that when you post something on the internet, it is there to stay, that is why you must make the necessary precautions before you may post something you may regret in the future. Always check if your post is negative, controversial or even grammatically incorrect. Some platforms are more forgiving, allowing you to edit your post, others are not. Taking some of these precautions will make you more uniform and fit for a future job or college application and have people view you in a positive manner.
Also a good strategy is to keep account information that you even keep privately, hidden. Malicious social media users intend to do harm to your account by stealing account details, releasing information that you thought was private to the public, and identity theft. One way to prevent this from happening, is to have more complex passwords along with somewhere to keep them safe. This will make it harder for people to access your account. Another way is to keep information off social media as a whole, the more information you put
out there, the more risk that will come with it. It’s always reasonable to keep private information, well, private.
To follow up with the first two strategies is to be in the mind of the employer. If you were hiring someone for a job and you saw your social media profile, would you think that applicant (a.k.a you) would be eligible for that job opportunity? Search yourself up on the internet and see for yourself. If your social media profile doesn’t show up in the search results, you have already done a good job about keeping yourself hidden away on the internet. If your profile does pop up, see what shows up. If you find something that doesn’t seem appropriate or suitable for the job that you want, you may want to fix that.
My last piece of advice is to be cautious around controverisal arguments on the internet. People will obviously have opposite views of eachother and will express their opinion if need be. If you have an opinion that would like to share on a certain topic that people may deem as “controversial”, always be careful about what you post as it may spark a negative, back and forth argument. It’s important to be resilient and it is ok to disagree with arguments. Try to refrain from using vulgar language and bringing up even more controversial topics to the table as this will show on your social media profile.
What I learned about the internet, is that it is NOT a toy and should not be treated like one. Social media can affect whether you can get a job or not, the way people view you as a user of the platform or even can put your sensitive information at risk. Your digital footprint will reflect on all of these topics. It is YOUR sole responsibility that you can maintain a healthy digital footprint on the internet as it can greatly impact your life. Helpful ‘Digital Footprint’ videos and projects like these can spread a message to others about this topic. It is easy to share and easy to pass it on especially on various social media platforms.