Before you click to post on social media, do you really think about exactly what your posts and updates could be saying about you? Have you thought about the fact that today’s ‘funny’ tweet or the photos of tonight’s party on Facebook could actually prove to be tomorrow’s nightmare?
Maybe it’s time to really think about what your online reputation is saying about you, and to raise the discussion with your children too.
Keep Up Appearances
Your online reputation is just as important as your real life one. Nowadays, employers can find out a lot of information about a prospective employee’s career and training on sites such as LinkedIn. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t also stumble upon your profiles on other social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter. This certainly begs the question: Do you really want your prospective boss seeing that photo or reading that status update?
For children, perhaps this question is a bit too far away for them to really understand the impact that their posts today might have on their future prospects. This is why it’s particularly important to address the topic early on, so that caution and foresight become a habit they can grow with.
Search for Yourself
If you haven’t done so already, put your name into a search engine and see what comes up…and don’t forget to check the images too. Remember, what you’re seeing is what anyone else could see! If something crops up that you’re not happy with, take the necessary steps to get it removed. Unfortunately, this may not delete it completely, as once something has been posted online it is effectively around forever. If you want to keep your social media accounts private, make sure you have adjusted your settings.
Friend or Foe?
It’s not always the content you post that causes the most harm. Sometimes, online friends can tag you in photos or post comments about you. If their security is lax, this means that anyone can see their content. There are settings on Facebook that prevent other people from tagging you in photos, so it might be worth looking into those.
Do you have a range of old social media accounts that you don’t use anymore? If so, delete or deactivate them. This means that their content is no longer searchable and it prevents them from getting hacked without your knowledge.
Protect Your Presence
With many business using social media for marketing purposes, lots of us now have to access these sites whilst at work. Don’t leave your social media accounts logged in where other people could access them. It might not just be your own online reputation you’re gambling with!
Think Before You Post
Finally, the best piece of advice is to think carefully before you post anything, and pass this message on to your children. If you’re not happy for your mum, your boss, or your neighbour from down the road to read what you’ve written, chances are you probably shouldn’t be posting it!