You are what you tweet – or are you?

This blog is provided by the Police Scotland Cybercrime Harm Prevention Team in support of Cyber Scotland Week – Keeping everyone cyber aware and resilient.

You’ve earned your qualifications, you’ve got the interview, you’re prepared and excited for a new opportunity.

Have you considered your digital footprint?

Future employers will most likely check your online profile as well as the CV you worked so hard to build. What does your digital footprint say about you?

Online activities such as dating, banking, shopping, gaming, professional and social networking all add to your digital footprint and almost everyone will have one. Every time you send an email, post on social media or sign up for a newsletter, you’re actively contributing to your footprint.

It’s not only you that contributes to your digital footprint. Your friends, family, colleagues, associates, and the clubs and societies you’re a member of can also add to it every time they mention you online. Even people you don’t know can contribute to your digital footprint, such as liking or sharing a post you’ve shared. Corporate and public sector bodies can add to it as well when they list public information about you on the Internet. It could include information about you, your home, your family and your work that others can easily gain access to without you knowing.

Why does it matter?

Once something is shared online, it can be there forever – what happens to this information and how it’s perceived may not always be under your control. Who you say you are and what the internet says about you can often be very different. Public opinion can change – what may have been seen as acceptable a few years ago could now be inappropriate.

What can you do about it?

You can take the following steps to manage and review your digital footprint:

Learn what your digital footprint currently looks like.

  • Google yourself and see what information is readily available about you.
  • Be aware who else is posting about you and contributing to your digital footprint.

Modify your digital footprint.

  • Delete old or inactive accounts.
  • Review or delete anything you have posted online that you wouldn’t want everyone to know or see.
  • Review passwords and privacy settings on apps, devices, and social media sites regularly.

Social media websites and apps are just two examples of online services that regularly change their privacy policies and security settings, making it difficult to keep track of what’s available for everyone to see and what isn’t. This means that personal messages and information you post online can end up being viewed by far more people than you ever intended.

Manage your digital footprint.

  • Be aware of automatic profile settings when setting up accounts online. These are usually set to public so anyone on the Internet can view your posts, photos, and status updates.
  • Be aware of apps that run analytics to monitor, collect and use your personal information for advertising purposes.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from everyone, only people you know.
  • Don’t constantly post your location online.
  • Ensure others know what you are and aren’t comfortable with being shared online.

Put yourself in a future employers shoes – would you like what you find?


For more advice and guidance about how to protect yourself online visit: Social Media: how to use it safely – NCSC.GOV.UK

If you have been a victim of a crime, contact Police Scotland on 101.

Police Scotland are proud supporters of Cyber Scotland Week 28 February -6 March 2022.  Improve your cyber resilience by visiting

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