We all have a digital footprint. While you may not be the sort of person to update your Facebook status daily or to share reams of holiday photos on Instagram, simply being aware of your digital presence – and the effect it can have on both your personal and professional endeavours – is still extremely important. If you are taking on new business or are climbing the corporate ladder, the last thing you need is for your online footprint to put you back several places. Therefore – what are the best ways to keep your digital self in check?
How Do I Manage My Social Media?
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are hugely responsible for how we’re perceived in our everyday lives. Those registered for neither may actually be in the majority, but with Facebook boasting over a billion active users and counting, they wield an incredible reach. As such, you should seriously consider doing the following.
Keep Business and Pleasure Separate
When managing your digital presence via social media, it’s not simply a case of watching what you share and what you type – it’s a case of tuning up your privacy settings, too. Keeping a social and a business account separate – where applicable – is incredibly important too.
If you’re self-employed or an entrepreneur, for example, allowing your social and personal lives to bleed into your professional page is a no-no.
Consider the Following Steps
Run an audit of your historic posts and photos. Avoid posting anything that could be unhelpful for your career – and remove historic tags, photos that may have been amusing ten years ago, no exceptions. While keeping two pages for your business and your social life is a great idea, employers and potential clients can still sweep your personal networks, too – so do be careful, and get those privacy settings tightened up!
To recap on the above, you should do the following:
- Conduct an audit of your social media posts and photo’s – Removing any that could possibly cause problems.
- Pay attention to your privacy settings – Manage who can view your posts.
- Keep your personal and business social media profiles separate
Can Google Help with My Digital Presence?
There’s nothing worse than googling your own name only for something negative to pop up – as this means anyone can have access to it. Thankfully, Google does have a procedure in place whereby you can contact them directly should any results no longer be deemed ‘relevant’ to your current circumstances.
How to Remove Search Results
If this is a route you wish to go down, be aware that it can take some time, and sometimes does not work. Please following these steps:
- Go to Google’s Remove outdated content
- Next, enter the address of the page that has the information you want to remove.
- Now choose Request removal.
Embarrassing or even incriminating data on you – particularly if you have a unique name – can be tricky to push down or get rid of. However, you can make requests to various sites to remove or withhold your data from search, and, as mentioned, Google can even help you to quash some of the less helpful results that may pop up. However, this should always be considered the ‘ultimate option’ – as Google hasn’t made matters explicit on criteria for removing data. Tread carefully!
Where Do I Start?
Start by changing your online habits – separate your professional and personal email and social media, and apply yourself responsibly. If you’re self-employed, be your brand – but don’t ever mix business with private. Do a thorough audit of your social accounts and Google yourself – once you see what everyone else can potentially see, you’ll have a better idea of what’s in need of management.