Why you should keep your digital footprint clean

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Between social media sites, blogs, and sites that are open for comments, we leave proof of our presence that remains long after we have moved on to other things. So, why should you worry about your digital footprint and how can you clean it up?

While you may put a disclaimer that all views are your own and not affiliated with anyone else, employers often disagree. There have been cases of employees being fired over statements on social media sites. Plus, if you take a public stance on something, it is online forever.

Many websites have real name policies for comments sections to ensure some degree of accountability. On larger sites, it’s very likely that someone you know will see your comment and that may alter their perception of you. Take a moment before publishing a something and think about it. Once something is online, it can be quite difficult to undo.

Facebook allows users to establish who they would like to see a status. This is set to Public by default, but can be changed to just friends or a select group. It’s worth keeping an eye on as Facebook often makes changes to defaults and privacy settings. Facebook also allows users to control posts and photos that others attempt to tag them in, along with who can see that they’ve been tagged.

If you are written about online, you should go to the individual or website responsible if you want it taken down. Unfortunately, it may not always be possible to have the content removed. However, the recent “right to be forgotten” ruling by the European Court of Justice means that these articles can at least be omitted from search results.

The verdict of this case means that people can ask search engines, such as Google, to omit content containing their name from search results if the information is irrelevant, out of date, inaccurate or an invasion of privacy. It’s worth remembering that the content is still online, it is simply omitted from search results.

We live much of our life online, so we are bound to leave a digital footprint. Follow the above steps to ensure that the digital footprint you leave reflects you positively.

In Short: Everyone using the internet leaves a digital footprint that reflects upon them as a person. Here’s why you should think about it and how to clean it up.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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