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Build a Professional Digital Identity

What does your online digital presence say about you?

Steps to Separation

Most professionals keep separate private and public online identities. This is especially important for those in professions where it is likely that others might search for them online - health professionals and professors both fall into this category - or for job-seekers.  Try these tips to ensure that people looking for Professional Profile Doctor You don't find Instagram Night-Out You instead.

  • Tighten your security settings on all of your profiles
  • Prune your friend lists regularly, and do not accept friend requests from strangers
  • If you are no longer using a platform, delete your old account
  • Do not allow others to tag you without review
  • Consider creating a separate personal social media profile that does not match your professional name on platforms that allow this
  • If you comment on internet stories, be aware that your full name may appear
  • Assume that your social media friends are also friends with peers or colleagues who can thus see your posts
  • Regularly look at your profiles as if you are a stranger, or a friend of a friend - most platforms change their security settings with little notice

Privacy Settings for Common Social Media

Employer Guidelines

Most institutions, and especially most academic institutions, government agencies or hospitals, have social media guidelines for their staff and affiliates for any online identities that can be tied to them. If you are an employee of such an institution, please be sure to consult its social media guidelines. Typically, they will want you to avoid making controversial statements on a professional account (keep that for your personal account), be sure to use their name exactly in the style they prefer, and sometimes to avoid using your employment at all for certain types of accounts.

ATSU's Current Social Media Guidelines

Readings & Resources