Job seekers warned about online activity


“Your digital footprint tells a lot more than you might think. A few clicks of the
mouse and your prospective employers could find out a lot more information
about you than you may be comfortable with,’ warns Simon Campbell-Young,
CEO of Phoenix Distribution. As the head of the software publishing, localisation
and distribution company, Campbell-Young believes it is important for internet
users to safeguard their identity and therefore, their online reputation.

The trails which people unknowingly leave behind in their daily online activity are
difficult to delete and Campbell-Young remarks, “The growth in identity theft, as
well as the rise in corporate tracking, has made it more crucial than ever before
for us to delete and control our digital footprint.’

Google is one of the offenders, and has been appropriately accused of collecting
user’s’ data. This is done in order for the search engine to execute targeted
advertising in the form of pop-up adverts, based on a particular user’s previous
searches on Google.

Luckily, Campbell-Young says there are a number of ways to ensure a person’s
digital footprint doesn’t ruin potential employment opportunities.
“Start by Googling yourself to do a comprehensive self-search. Before you can
manage your digital footprint, you need to be aware of what is out there, and
what other people who search for you might find. Should you find anything that
you feel could be harmful to your reputation, have it removed. This would include
removing tags from pictures, as well as flagging information for removal,’ he

Increasing awareness on what privacy settings are available on various social
media sites will aid in avoiding making certain content public, and Campbell-
Young adds, “You will have to accept at the start that you won’t be able to get
rid of everything. Should there be any potentially damaging information that you
cannot erase from the nNet, then at least be prepared to answer any questions
that might arise from it. In a job interview, it helps to be able to address how a
particular action could impact on your ability to do the job well. Although the
chances are any potential transgressions may not come up at all, it never hurts
to be prepared.’


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