Thinking about your online social and professional identity


The sharing of images online through social media sites has become increasingly easy to do. Many of us can now take a photo using our mobile phone and share almost instantly via our digital social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. However what is sometimes forgotten is how easy it can be for others to re-share your images. In many cases you may be quite happy for this to happen, however there may be photos you only want to share with certain people. Being aware of the security settings on the social sites you use is very important. These tend to change periodically (Facebook being one to confuse many including Mark Zuckerberg’s own sister!).

It’s good practice to review your settings to be sure you are taking the steps you can to avoid overly sharing. Another consideration is to check where others have tagged you in photos they have taken of you and posted on Facebook.

Facebook Settings


By clicking on the padlock you can reveal the drop down menu. Here you can access your Activity Log and review the posts and photos you are tagged in. It is worth taking the time to become familiar with the security settings within Facebook and making the adjustments you wish to.

Twitter and protected tweets

If you want to control who sees your updates, you may choose to protect your Tweets. You can always change your mind and make them public later. When you protect your Tweets, the following restrictions are put in place:

  • People will have to request to follow you; each follow request will need approval. 
  • Your Tweets will only be visible to users you’ve approved.
  • Other users will not be able to retweet your Tweets. 
  • Protected Tweets will not appear in Twitter search or Google search.
  • @Replies you send to people who aren’t following you will not be seen by those users (because you have not given them permission to see your Tweets).
  • You cannot share permanent links to your Tweets with anyone other than your approved followers.


Your online reputation

It may be for most of the time the images we share are ones that have no impact on our reputation, however those ‘party photos‘ may not present you at your best in the eyes of current or potential employers. This video from Safer Online by Microsoft is a motion infographic which highlights the potential for negative outcomes related to your online activities and the steps you can take to help shape an online reputation that you can feel proud of. The data shared is based on Microsoft’s Data Privacy Day 2012 survey results –

About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
This entry was posted in Facebook, Twitter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Thinking about your online social and professional identity

  1. Anonymous says:

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    professional identity | Social Media 4 Us <Loved it!

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  3. Sara says:

    Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  4. Shellie says:

    Very good article. I certainly appreciate this site.
    Stick with it!

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