It is common for information about each of us to gather on the internet. If our name is mentioned on a blog or social media post, or if we are tagged in a picture, this information may be available to anyone who searches for us. The information that they find is our online identity or reputation.
It is important to manage this information to ensure that we are not disadvantaged or placed at risk.
Identity theft is a common crime where our aggregated details provide enough information for another to pose as us. They then take out loans or perform other illegal acts in our name.
Our online reputation may be viewed by potential employers or even partners to determine what sort of person we are. If the information is disproportionate or unrepresentative of us, we may miss out on opportunities which are important to us.
Google provides advice on managing your identity and suggest that you periodically search for yourself to see what comes up. If you have control of the location then you can edit content or make changes to your privacy settings. Google recommends you make a profile with them so when someone searches for you they get your profile which you can control.
Research suggests that your personality can be predicted through your choice of profile picture, so choose wisely!
Liu, L., Preotiuc-Pietro, D., Samani, Z. R., Moghaddam, M. E., & Ungar, L. (2016). Analysing personality through social media profile picture choice. Proceedings of the 10th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM. Retrieved from http://wwbp.org/papers/persimages16icwsm.pdf