Life Is a URL: Why Everyone Should Own Their Online Identity

Do you own your online identity? Click here to learn about why it’s important to own, control, and protect your digital identity.

Keyword(s): online identity

It’s no secret that the Internet has evolved to become one of the most useful tools ever created. Not only can you seamlessly find boundless information, but you can also run an entire business straight from the laptop. However, not everybody understands the importance of protecting their online identity.

For example, you should be aware that your digital footprint can tell others a lot about you and spread information in ways you never thought possible. Here are some tips on how to take full control of your online identity and the importance of doing so.

What Is a Digital Identity?

People often conflate their online identity with social media.

However, this is not exactly true. Your digital identity is essentially your online personal brand — it’s how people perceive you and what they believe about you.

Everything from the pictures on your Instagram account to the Snapchat stories helps paint a picture of who you are.

Why Should You Own Your Digital Identity?

When you own your online presence, you fully control the information that people find about you.

If somebody wants to research who they are going to date or hire, Google is often the first tool that they turn to. They then use this information to form an idea of who you are and what you are like.

They can also dig through your LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and more to see the real you. Having full control of your digital identity means having absolute power over the information people find about you. This lets you construct a brand that perfectly captures who you are.

What Factors Should I Keep in Mind?

Interestingly, many people are unaware of the consequences of not owning their digital identities. However, it’s essential that you fully understand what’s at risk. Let’s dive into some of the most notable.

People Will Judge You Based on Your Online Presence

You should be aware that people will judge you based on what they find online.

If you want to land a job interview, but there are photos of drunken party behavior on Facebook, don’t expect the interviewer to give you the benefit of the doubt. The same can be said about those who post questionable content, such as photos that include drugs or firearms.

It’s essential to manage your online presence if you want people to have a positive impression of you.

Hackers Are Always Looking For Valuable Personal Information

Hackers are always looking for valuable information about you.

If they discover you have an abundance of personal details on Facebook, they might use this data to break into sensitive accounts by correctly guessing security questions. You can prevent these kinds of attacks by limiting what you share on social media.

You Could Even Lose Your Job if You Post the Wrong Content

For those who care about the future of their careers, it’s vital to monitor your online presence since it could influence whether or not you keep your job.

For example, if a manager learns that an employee published offensive content on social media, then there’s a good chance the individual will get fired for this behavior. Not only could coworkers be affected by what you post, but so can your company.

For instance, going on a politically-charged rant on Twitter could result in your company letting you go. So, it’s always important to keep in mind that the posts you make on social media can cost you your current job or a future one.

You Might Lose Out on Potential Earnings

If you don’t make an effort to retain ownership of creative content, you could find that someone else uses it for their personal gain.

For instance, let’s assume that you have a photography blog on which you post pictures that you take. If you do not vigilantly protect it, someone could easily steal this content and use it to make money. It is for this reason that the majority of photographers include watermarks in their photos.

It’s also worth noting that individuals who run online businesses could also face threats to their earning potential. In some circumstances, this could be a highly difficult situation to recover from.

One of the most common scenarios involves slander against your company brand, something that can easily cause you to lose customers.

Your Personal Safety Could Be at Risk

There are many reasons why your personal safety could be at risk if you don’t control your online presence. A stalker could use the information they find about you on Google to find out where you live or work.

From here, the situation could quickly get out of hand. So, it’s essential that you understand you should never post personal information that you do not want to be used against you. A common mistake people make is posting pictures of their family, home, etc. on a social media account that is not set to “private.”

This means that anybody who knows your name can look you up on relevant social media platforms and learn all about the personal details of your life.

The Internet Never Forgets

It’s important to understand that once information is online, it tends to stay there forever.

This means that the embarrassing photos you posted on Facebook years ago will be accessible by anyone who searches your name. Similarly, if you got fired from a job under scandalous circumstances (i.e. your boss was a racist and you posted about it), then prospective employers can find out about this old news.

Although they might seem harmless at the time, circumstances like these could have a negative impact in the future.

How Can I Have Better Control Over My Online Identity?

Maintaining control over your digital presence might seem overwhelming at first.

In some cases, it might even seem impossible. It’s not as difficult as you think, however, and listed below are key ways you can do so.

Don’t Neglect Cybersecurity

It’s important to understand that you are responsible for keeping your data on social media secure.

If you fail to do so, hackers can easily access your information and use it against you. So, it’s essential that you stay on top of cybersecurity by using strong passwords on all of your social media accounts and devices.

Update Privacy Settings

Your privacy settings are the best way to secure sensitive data on social media. While not all of these settings will be helpful, there are some key ones you should consider changing: You’ll want to restrict the audience as much as possible since this limits how many people can see certain content. If you aren’t careful, your posts could easily become public and attract unwanted attention from strangers.

You’ll also want to restrict who can see your location information. It’s likely that you don’t want everybody knowing where you live, work, etc.

So, make sure these options are set to “friends only” or “private.” Similarly, if you post pictures of yourself in public places (e.g., the mall, grocery store), then you should disable the “tag” feature.

This means that people won’t be able to tag your location when they share photos of you online.

Don’t Overshare

As previously mentioned, information that you put on the Internet is out there forever.

This means that nobody can ever take back their mistakes. Since it’s impossible to predict who might overshare, you should avoid doing so on your own.

This can be difficult for some people who struggle with overly expressing themselves online. However, it’s important to consider where your words could end up in the future.

How Do I Get Started?

If you want to have true ownership over your online identity, it’s highly recommended that you create a website for yourself. This is especially useful for professionals, as it will help you establish an authoritative presence in your industry.

Furthermore, if you want to set yourself apart from your peers for prospective employers, then it’s also in your best interest that you maintain a blog on your website and regularly post new articles. When creating a website, the domain name that you choose is critical. In fact, this can often be the difference between whether or not people choose to visit your site.

Interestingly, none of her but he is aware that you don’t have to choose a .com domain name when designing a website for yourself.

In fact, you can take advantage of something known as a .link domain name.

In this case, the word “link” could be replaced with a large handful of different words that are relevant to your personal or professional brand. For example, let’s assume that you are a freelance graphic designer who wishes to expand your online presence.

Assuming your name is John Smith, your website domain could be “”.

As you can tell, the possibilities here are nearly endless. You should also ensure that you configure your domain privacy settings to help keep you safe.

How I Develop a Quality Online Persona?

When it comes to developing a quality online presence, most people will focus on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

While these sites are useful for promoting your brand, they can be time-consuming and distracting when done poorly. Instead of spending too much effort on these platforms, we recommend that you post valuable content on your own website. This way, you can focus on creating high-quality content that your audience will truly appreciate.

For instance, if you are a salesperson who enjoys writing articles about successful strategies for engagement in social media, then it would be recommended that you post this content on your website instead of places like Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn is often seen as a social media platform for professionals. It’s the one site that most businesses will reference when talking about their company online. However, while LinkedIn is good for building brand awareness, it doesn’t allow people to have much of an interactive experience with you or your business.

There are some exceptions to this rule (e.g., Live Chat), but these features are typically reserved for larger companies.

In other words, most people use LinkedIn as a way to post their resumes and stay updated on the latest news from their industry. That being said, LinkedIn is a good resource if you want to have a more interactive experience with your peers.

This can be especially useful if you enjoy sharing new articles posted on your blog or website. In addition to LinkedIn, people enjoy using Twitter for this same reason.

While both services are free to use and have their pros and cons, we recommend that you focus on improving your presence on one platform at a time.

It’s Essential to Engage With Your Audience, as Well

The way in which you interact with your audience will play a large role in how your digital identity develops.

In other words, if you don’t engage with the people who follow your social media profiles or blog, then chances are they will slowly lose interest in following you.

In fact, one of the main reasons people will continue to follow a certain profile is because they expect a high level of interaction with that person on a regular basis. So, ensure that you are always proactive in responding to comments, interacting with others, etc.

Owning Your Online Identity Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

The above information will help ensure that you retain full control over your online identity. From here, you shouldn’t encounter any major issues in the future.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.