Tips For Students To Manage Their Digital Footprint

By: SMITH THOMPSON

Introduction

It is time to face it, we live in the digital age. A time where your online reputation will precede you. Before you ever get that job interview, it is important for you to know that you will be investigated online. After a bad social interaction, that person will do a Google search fort you. So, what are they going to find when they get there? Is your digital footprint full of drinking and partying, or is if filled with insightful or enlightening posts? Believe it or not, these posts that you make on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. will never go away. Once it is on the internet it is forever. You think you can simply erase the post and it will be gone. However, anyone that has access to the post has the ability to make a copy of the post. Should they be so inclined, they can simply post it on their page and voila, it is back on the internet. This can be replicated time and time again. So, you need to think about every post that you make on social media or anywhere else on the web.

How to Combat Your Digital Footprint

There are a number of things you can do to help manage your online reputation, but as with sex, the best defense is abstinence. Meaning, don’t make those questionable posts in the first place. Here is a list of things you can do if you choose to make those post regardless of our warning.

  • Use Privacy Settings – People can only get information that you share with them. So many people make public posts and that can be a bad thing. Even making it available to your friends can leak information out depending on their settings. Believe it or not, you can make posts for just you to see. This can act as a digital photobook.
  • Keep a List – You remember that MySpace account that you had all those years ago? Do you even use it anymore? If your answer is no, then find it and delete it. There is no reason to have those pages exist anymore since you never go there. Gather the important information off of it and bit it a fond farewell.
  • Password Vault – The worst thing that could happen to your digital footprint is having someone gain access to all your personal information. This includes, but is not limited to, your address, your bank information, and your credentials to various websites. With so many different websites, all with unique sets of rules, it hard to keep all those passwords straight. Instead of storing them somewhere someone can find them, simply use a password vault.

Conclusion

There are so many things that you can do to prevent others from seeing your digital footprint that we simply do not have enough space or time to cover them all in this article. If you want to know more about online reputation, simply Google yourself and see what you find. You will be surprised. If you don’t want that stuff to show up anymore, simply delete it and start building a better reputation for yourself that will cover up all the bad.

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