What happens online…stays online! Although your online activity appears to be seemingly private, it is near impossible to achieve total privacy. Every website or digital platform you visit leaves behind a trail (footprint) of data and personal information. Think of it as a trail of bread crumbs that navigates directly to you. This data is transmitted from emails that you send, various social media platforms, company websites, blogs, and any information you submit online. Every status update published on Facebook, every Tweet posted on Twitter, every Pin pinned on Pinterest and every photo shared on Instagram contributes to your digital footprint. The more time that an individual or brand spends on social networking websites, the larger your digital footprint will be. Just because you hit that delete button does not mean that the data was permanently deleted. So do you know what your online activity say about you?
How Does Your Digital Footprint Affect You?
Only 3% of people perform a search on themselves regularly, and almost three-quarters have only searched for themselves once or twice. It is imperative for your reputation, and perhaps subconscious, to ensure that you know what is being said about you or a brand as well as what you’ve said put out there for the world to see about yourself. If you’re not careful, your actions on the Internet can speak on your behalf well before you’ve even met a potential college admissions counselor, employer, manager, client, or customer. Often times clients have been lost or people have missed a job opportunity due to a poor digital footprint. To build a digital footprint that really helps to positively influence people’s opinions about you or your business, all online activity should be strategically aligned.
7 Suggestions To Help Ensure Positive Digital Footprint
- Be authentic in everything you do online
- Make sure your actions and content are credible and trustworthy
- Regularly perform an Internet search to see what has been published about you or your brand
- Create social media accounts and make sure the profiles are accurate, maintained, and up-to-date
- Make sure your privacy settings are set to private, unless you’re a public brand
- Avoid sharing overly personal or confidential information online
- Follow the Golden Rule: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all