Your online identity is your social persona that exists online. This consists of your Facebook profile, Google + account, your twitter, and everything else that comes up when you “Google yourself.” In high school you probably did not worry, or know about your “online identity,” but now that we are adults, it is an important factor in your life that you probably want to control.

The reason your online identity is important, is because it is a huge part of who you are. Your future employer, that new friend you just met, and your girlfriend or boyfriend’s mom are all going to know and judge you through your online identity. The internet is really good at bringing out the worst in all of us, so it may be important to clean your online self up a bit.  You may soon find yourself in an emergency, where you have an upcoming job interview, and realize you do not want your old fashion boss to look at the way you have portrayed yourself online.

The best way to do a quick clean up is to simply change your profile picture and perhaps your “about” info on your Facebook. For example, if in your profile picture you are drinking a four loko with your shirt off and holding up a shocker… you may want to think about changing that real quick back to your professional and appropriate senior portrait, or something.

Even if you’re not about to go to an interview, you may want to take some time anyway and clean your online identity up a bit, just in case. To do this, first find out where you exist online by googling your name. Then, just simply go to all the places you have a presence online, and then delete all the bad stuff. Go through your timeline, untag yourself in those party pictures, and delete all your poop joke statuses. Even stray away from Facebook. Maybe you have an embarrassing YouTube video or a weird sexist blog post that you wrote back when you were teenage angsting in high school. Delete all things that you do not want others to judge you by.

After you have done this, you then want to make a conscious effort to keep your online identity clean.  You never know who is going to Google you, and when they do you want them to get a professional impression of you. You never know, having that clean online identity could give you a better chance of getting an internship or land yourself a job.