What is a Digital Footprint?
What is the initial impression when you hear of the phrase digital footprint?
Several ideas may come to mind, nevertheless, a digital footprint can be defined as “an individual’s overall influence, opinion, or impression as displayed on the internet; online reputation or visibility, as a person or a company”.
By description, this aids you to better realize that this is comparable to a first impression as a result of a job interview, online dating, or maybe at a networking event.
Realizing and understanding the importance of a positive digital footprint is half the battle
Then the questions appear “What is a real digital footprint” and “How can you establish a positive digital footprint in 2020”.
In the ensuing sections, we will explore these two topics, and see if we can devise a definitive plan of actions to take in order to accomplish our goal(s).
Popular Digital Footprint Questions
“How is a digital footprint created?” To build an online reputation, one must first know what their goals are and what they are trying to accomplish.
If the goal is to create and reconnect with old friends and family then sites such as Facebook and Google + and Twitter are excellent social networking sites that allow for endless connection opportunities.
Think about it, you can turn to Facebook in hopes to locate a long lost friend or colleague. As long as you know their first and last name you have an excellent chance at finding them on Google.
If your goals are to create opportunities for networking for your career, there are a plethora of professional social platforms at your disposal. LinkedIn, Startup Nation, and Meet Up are a few popular options.
Establishing a good footprint online will allow you to stay in contact with family, friends, classmates. Creating a positive digital footprint will also allow for networking opportunities that lead to employment, business start-ups, and/or other career strategies.
The goal here is to get as much positive information online in reference to you or your business as possible.
Please note that by just adding your name on these social networking websites will not suffice. In the second part of this discussion, we will explain how to build a “good digital footprint”.
What Makes a Good Digital Footprint?
There is more to building a digital footprint than just creating a profile and bio on one of the popular social websites mentioned earlier.
The subsequent actions will present you with ways that you can positively intensify your digital footprint whether your purpose is for personal and/or business connections.
Optimize Social Profiles with a Professional Picture.
This will enable businesses and friends to verify if you are the correct individual they are looking for.
Adding a professional photo also creates a more favorable first impression when compared to a picture of your dog or a popular meme.
Keep Private Information Private
Private data such as social security numbers and/or all of your personal information is not needed (address, birthday, sensitive information about family/friends, etc).
We highly encouraged not to ever share this information via social sites as this is for the safety of your digital profile as well.
You may not think other people are looking you up, especially if you are not famous or have a distinguished career. However, that could not be further from the truth.
Hackers sit on the dark-web and they don’t care if your rich or poor, they will steal your information and sell it to the highest bidder.
Stay Active Online – Always
It is critical that you check your social media profiles often and stay active. This will improve your profile impressions and reach.
It also helps with your profile not becoming spammed as much.
Keep it Simple Online
Nearly all websites will allow you to add photos as well as videos to your profile. This is common sense, however, we like to use the old saying “Don’t post it online if you wouldn’t want your mother to see it”.
Pictures and videos that are x-rated or inappropriate should not be on social sites. This includes drunk drinking photos or anything that would be offensive to others.
In addition, unless you work in the world of politics or religion we stray our clients away from ever discussing these topics online.
Also, a neat profile with suitable spelling and grammar is important as well. Dispensing these critical attributes on your digital footprint could lead to difficulties with the image you have created.
Use Appropriate Usernames
This is essential when businesses, universities, and others seek for you online or find your profile. RedskinsFan123 is not a good name when you are looking to become a potential employee.
In the digital age that will live in it is hard not to have an online life and taking these steps will help with creating a good one.
Key Points About Your Digital Footprint
- Have a different password for each online account you have
- Use a non-dictionary password, using caps, numbers, symbols at least 12 characters
- Use a password manager to keep track of all your passwords
- Be careful of what you put on social media
- Keep all your devices OS up to date (do the updates)
- Use Internet Security software for your PC’s
- Use security software for your phones and tablets