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This content is taken from the University of York's online course, Becoming a Digital Citizen: an Introduction to the Digital Society. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds So your digital footprint is your records and traces of all your online interactions. That could be through friends; it could be through job applications. It’s called your digital footprint because all the information – all the interactions online – are recorded in cyberspace, and you need to be really in control of the type of information that you do share, moving forward online.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds The best way to move forward is to Google yourself: really do an audit of your online presence. It can be as basic as typing your name into Google, ensuring that what is posted is fit for purpose.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds It’s really important to make a positive first impression: be careful about the types of posts that you’ve put online; think about your profile and photo.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds Best rule of thumb is: if your mum will see it and there is a risk that she might not like it, don’t put it on. Some other aspects that you can look at

Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds is looking at your privacy settings: so there will be certain aspects that you do what to share online through Facebook, that you don’t necessarily want your friends not to see, so ensuring that you have the right protection and privacy settings is really important.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds I think you’ve got to think about your presence – so your self – where you’re actually interacting online and for what purpose. So for jobs, professionally, you might want to go to sites such as LinkedIn. You might what to search and find out new knowledge and new information, and interact with individuals at a touch of a button. Examples of that could be something like Twitter or Facebook in terms of more social presence. Engage with the content online, but also engage

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 second with peers: either students, or within your career. You’ll get noticed by a lot of organisations or a lot of thought leaders if you’re interacting with the content online, either through posts or blogs and really engaging with the potential agenda you’re interested in. Share information, share knowledge. An online platform is there to share knowledge and learnings and things that can advance other people in terms of their knowledge and career as well. Be polite! Actually, from what I referenced at the start,

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 seconds it is your digital footprint: what you do say on platforms like Twitter to, potentially, celebrities, can still be seen by potential recruiters. So be very careful how you engage and interact with people, and want to be interacted with yourself.

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 seconds I think the worst thing you can do online is not engage: having a profile – a presence that people can see – with no content; so ensure that you do engage with people online.

Managing your digital footprint

When was the last time you googled yourself? What mark have you made upon the internet?

The web is a surprisingly indelible thing. Yes, webpages might die as the years go on, but morsels may still linger in web archives and search engine caches. Newspaper appearances, work staff profiles, publications, registries, social media activity… you will have left your mark in some small way or other: information about you is almost certainly on the internet, somewhere. It’s pretty inescapable.

That accepted, what can you do to make as benign or as positive as possible this ‘digital footprint’ that you (or others on your behalf) have left behind? Our Director of Employability and Careers, Tom Banham, looks at some of the ways by which you can enhance your online reputation.

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This video is from the free online course:

Becoming a Digital Citizen: an Introduction to the Digital Society

University of York