Leeds University Library
Our website is changing

The Library website is changing. Our new website will go live at the start of semester 2.

Managing your online identity

Many of us post online about different aspects of our lives, and your online identity can be an important part of who you are.  When you post or share information online, you are leaving behind a set of clues about yourself.  Anyone who searches for you online will pick up some of these clues and start to form ideas about what you are like.

It's also likely that other people will post information about you online, so it's important to think about how you want to present yourself so that when others look for you, they find a more rounded view of who you are.

Here are a few ideas on how you can enhance your digital profile:

Reviewing your current online presence

Look at the range of online spaces in which you post or interact with others. Remember to think about older accounts which you may have used in the past, as well as current spaces. Key questions that you can ask yourself whilst reviewing your current online presence are: 
  • Is the information currently online about you accurate?
  • Did you make this information available, or has someone else put it online?
  • Do the results about you reflect who you are, or just one or two things about you?
  • Is this information coming from one of your online profiles (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc?)
How do you want to present yourself online?  

Which aspects of yourself would you like to present online?  Do you want to showcase your study or working achievements? Have you been involved in a volunteering project, or something creative? 
  • LinkedIn allows you to build a professional presence online and make connections with others. Have a look at the LinkedIn section on the Student Guide to Social Media (find it under 'Other Tools').
If you have several profiles that you would like to connect together, you should consider:
  • using the same username and profile picture for each.
  • linking all of your profiles from one site (e.g. https://about.me/). 
Deciding what to keep locked down and what is public  

When you review the spaces where you post and interact with others online, think about which of those you are happy to make open to the world, and which should be more restricted.  Remember to check your privacy settings for new services that you sign up for too.

Interacting awareness with online  

Social media is a great tool for interacting with others online.  It's easy to forget however, that your comments and activities can be easily passed on around the world in seconds, and that in some circumstances these can become controversial and have negative consequences.  Take a look at our case study to find out how one tweet can change your life.

Consider creating a personal 'code of conduct' for your online activities; look at our lists below for some ideas:

I will
  • re-read everything before I post it, to check that the language and tone I've used is appropriate for the audience that might read it.
  • check my privacy settings for each of my accounts, so that I know who can see what I post on different sites.
  • let my friends know privately if they've posted something that could be misinterpreted as offensive or inappropriate.
I won't
  • post anything libellous, obscene or discriminatory.
  • take part in any type of personal abuse or use aggressive language against another user, even if they post something that I find offensive.
  • post anything that can be viewed openly without thinking about how it might be misinterpreted if taken out of context.