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Digital reputation

Your digital reputation is the digital footprint created by all the things you say and do online, as well as what others post about you. 

The people and sites you follow, the content you post, like or share, the comments you make, and what you’re tagged in all contribute to your digital reputation.

Your digital reputation can affect your friendships, relationships and even your job prospects for the rest of your life, so it’s important to be careful about how you are seen online.

On this page:

How does my digital reputation affect me?

Once something is online it can be very difficult to remove. This means it may be seen any time in the future, by people you don’t even know yet.

Being online also means the content can be easily and quickly shared. Words and images can be misinterpreted and altered, or something intended for your small group of friends can create issues when shared with others outside the group.

It’s important to consider how you manage your own posts, messages, images and videos, as well as any that others post about you.

Tagged photos, blogposts and social media interactions all shape how others think of you, now and in the future.

Your privacy settings on social media sites help control what others can see of your online life, but they do not protect you completely.

How to protect your digital reputation

  1. Stop and think about any content before you post or send it – would you be comfortable with a potential employer seeing it?
  2. Treat others respectfully online, as you would like to be treated.
  3. Adjust your privacy settings so things you don’t want to be public don’t appear online. For example, you could limit access to your posts so only close friends see them. It’s also a good idea to regularly check that your settings are still right. The eSafety Guide has advice around changing privacy settings for different social media apps, games and other online platforms.
  4. Remove the tag or mention if you’re uncomfortable about anything others have posted. If you can’t do this yourself, ask the person who posted it to un-tag you, edit you out or take it down. 
  5. Search your name and image regularly, to make sure what’s online is OK. Remove anything you no longer think is appropriate, if it’s from your own account or site – if you have forgotten the security details for an old account, the service or platform may be able to help you, if you can provide information to verify your identity. If someone else controls the account or site, you may be able to ask the person (or organisation) to remove it.


There are also tips from Google about how you can manage what people see when they search for you.

Visual Audio

Are employers looking at our online profiles?

I think every employer now Googles your name, and like checks your Facebook before they give you a job, which is a bit scary.

They'll type your name into Google, and they'll look for your digital footprint. And they'll make a decision on that.

And a lot of people don't really realise just how easy it is to get a full picture of you just from a quick Google search.

My boss told me that, yeah, he Googled me. He looked at my Facebook profile just to get an understanding of who I am as a person, so.

My good friend, she actually, we went skiing over the Christmas holiday, and took a topless picture on top of a mountain. And when she got back her placement school said she couldn't come on placement anymore to the school.

One of my mates had a profile picture, when they were back when they're like 17 with alcohol in it, and the person who did the job interview just didn't give him the job, and they said that was the reason why, so.

What happens when you Google Yourself?

If I google myself? 

Oh, God. 

No, I don't know if I want to. What if something bad comes up?

It has nothing to do with me. Oh, whoa. No, there's like a picture of me.

Oh, yeah, there is.

There's like a picture of me when I was like 12.

This is actually interesting, cause I think I have all of my posts on private, but they're actually showing up anyways. I don't think you're supposed to be able to Google me.

Oh, my friends list is public. I might change that.

All stuff I know of. All things I've posted. I'm well aware I posted, so.

I definitely say, put everything on private. You never know when you'll need it to be on private. So just put it on private.

Want to find out more? Visit

What you need to know

Tips for young people

Anyone can google your name or check out your social media accounts, including potential employers, universities and others. Check out how you can protect your digital reputation.

Tips for parents and carers

Photos and videos of your child that you post or share on social media become part of their online footprint and can have an impact on their future digital reputation. Read more on our page tailored for parents and carers about what and how you can safely share photos and videos online.

Information for educators

You can use eSafety’s classroom resources to help teach students about the importance of their digital footprint or digital reputation, including how to manage both their own messages and images and those of others. Check out:

Information for sports clubs

Sport is a great place to take photos and videos. Whether it’s action shots at a carnival or videos for training purposes, it’s important to be mindful of privacy and safety. Check out eSafety’s Sports hub for more advice about how you can stay safer at sport.

Last updated: 14/03/2024