Did you know that the public and private content you post, what you like, share, who you follow, and your online comments on the websites you visit all contribute to your digital reputation? Your digital reputation can have such significant effects on your relationships, friendship, and professional work life, so it's really important to always be mindful of what you do and say online.
It's always important to remember that once something has been posted online, it can be almost impossible to remove you. Even if you decide to remove content you've posted, you never know who has shared or taken a screenshot of your post.
A disadvantage of online platforms is text can be misunderstood and changed. People might not understand or interpret your message as you thought. If you have created content for friends and family, ensure that it wouldn't be offensive to others if it was shared outside of that group. Always keep in mind that whatever you post online can potentially be found by anyone – forever. And that can have some really big consequences.
How do you protect your digital reputation?
Before you send any content, always think about what you're sending and how it could be perceived.
Like in real life, always treat others how you would like to be treated when online.
Do regular checks to your online platforms to make sure you know who can access your posts and photos.
Check any posts or photos that you may have been tagged in. Make sure to remove yourself from any that may be offensive or distasteful.
Try searching your name in a search engine like Google. If anything comes up which you thought were private, you'll be able to change your settings.
If your digital reputation isn't the greatest, it is possible to clean it up. You are able to remove what you can and then do your best to build a more positive image of yourself on your online platforms.
If what you've read has caused some concerns or worries and you'd like some support, you can call Lifeline on 13 14 11 at any time. They are available 24/7. If you're in immediate risk or someone you know is, call 000 to speak to emergency services.
eSafety Commissioner. (2020). Your Digital Reputation. https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/staying-safe/digital-reputation