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Who’s in control of your Digital Identity?

by Tahira Majothi on August 3, 2011

“If you aren’t controlling who you are online, some else is or will. And taking control of your digital footprint is something that is so easy to do”. This quote is by Steven Anderson on his recent blog post ‘Taking Care of your Digital Self’.

If you have been following the latest careers news and tips on our blogs (Sure why wouldn’t you?) you will have heard a lot of debate around the use of social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter to help you stay ahead of the game when it comes to your career by not only staying informed of the latest news but also for sourcing informational interviews or job/research opportunities. My colleague Jemma Houghton also posted tips on how best to use social media such as LinkedIn here.

Now you may have reservations about joining the Twitterati or other social media sites for fear of being spammed, because you are unsure of where to start or quite possibly because you wish to stay anonymous, thank you very much!

However in this increasingly interconnected (digital) world, information may already exist about you on the web. Try typing your name into Google or your search engine of choice, and the chances are your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter profiles will feature very prominently. Now how easy would it be for an employer to find out more about you? What would they see first and would you say it was appropriate viewing/ information for a potential employer/contact?

Truth is you may need to take back control of the information available about you on the web. This may mean deleting inappropriate information (either something you posted or friends e.g. on Facebook) or use social media to your advantage such as LinkedIn, Blogs or Twitter etc to supersede ‘older’ or inappropriate information about you.

Read Steven’s blog for more tips on how to take control of your digital identity as well as tips from Cristina Costa, the University of Salford’s Research Technologies Development Officer on the Postgraduate Studies Team Blog here . Cristina has also posted some useful comments on our PG Futures post ‘Be What’s Next’.

You may be interested in these videos recently posted by The British Library on the evolution of digital technologies and the challenges and opportunities they present for research. Click here.

This Friday (5th August) the Guardian Higher Education Network will be hosting a live chat at 1.00pm focusing on the impact of new technology on academic research. You can follow proceedings here.

On a final note, Cristina and I will be running a joint workshop on ‘Social Media for Newbies’ on Tuesday 9th August, where we hope to cover this in more depth. If you are a student, graduate or postgraduate of the University of Salford, then register here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete Rose August 27, 2011 at 11:15 am

Really interesting piece! Regardless of what employers say, the temptation for many to check out what ‘digital footprint’ each candidate has is often to great to ignore. We’ve heard on numerous occasions that checking a facebook profile or a person’s tweet can potentially influence an employer’s decision so it’s very important to ensure everything is above board!


Tahira Majothi September 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi Pete,

Thank you very much for your comment, I agree it is important to people to think about housekeeping when it comes to their social media profile but also to the opportunities social media platforms can affords us.

Best wishes



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