Build a Positive Digital Reputation
What is a digital reputation?
Your digital reputation is how you are perceived online. It is shaped by the way you present yourself and the things other people post about you.
What makes up my digital reputation?
Photos that you post, profiles you create on social networks, emails that you forward to your friends ― all of this content that is associated with you contributes to your digital reputation. Other information that can easily be discovered online and that contributes to your digital reputation is what other people may write about you, or photos they post with you in them.
Think of your first blog, your latest photo album ― or even all the way back to before you were born, when a sonogram of you may have been posted online. All of this contributes to your digital reputation, a reputation that may be older than you.
Why does my digital reputation matter?
It matters because it is an extremely visible snapshot of who you are. Colleges and employers may look at information posted about you when they make decisions about whether or not to accept or hire you. Your digital reputation can influence their decisions ― and the decisions of others ― for better or worse.
What does my digital reputation look like?
It is a composite of information, so pay attention to what information is being posted about you. Do regular online searches of your name to see what information comes up ― like the town you live in, photos you have shared, or your place of employment. Are you comfortable with that information being available online? To find information, try combinations of your name, such as first and middle, and nicknames.
How can I build a positive digital reputation?
That's easy. Put your best self forward online. You have the opportunity to shape your reputation to accomplish your goals. If you’re doing good things, use the Internet to showcase them ― whether it’s coding a website, posting your artwork, joining reputable online communities, or contributing meaningful comments to other people's’s work. Putting your best self forward can attract positive attention.
Keep an eye out for your friends and family, too. If you see something they might not want posted about themselves, let them know, and ask them to do the same for you.