First impressions are important. Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or applying for a loan, the first impression you make matters. At ScoresMatter, we want to help you make the right digital first impression, especially to lenders, prospective employers, or even new friends. What do we mean by a ‘digital first impression’ though? That’s a great question. When you apply for loans or other finance, you’re introducing yourself to a lender or a financial institution. If you’re applying online, then that introduction is done digitally when you submit your personal information upon application. So how do you make a great digital first impression? We believe the best way to do this is by improving the Digital You.
What is the Digital You?
When you spend time on the internet, you leave a trail of personal data behind. This data can come in the form of phone numbers or email addresses, maiden or middle names, or even employment information. This is a normal part of internet browsing, but it is very easy to trace back to you. This data paints a digital picture of who you are, even though it may not necessarily be the best representation of the real you. So when lenders, employers, or others look you up online, they’re likely to see this digital picture, or what we like to call ‘The Digital You.’
What Makes Up the Digital You?
The Digital You is a complex digital representation of your online activity. However, there are several key factors that make up this digital version of yourself:
What You Do Online: As previously mentioned, everything you do online becomes part of the Digital You. This means that every time you purchase an item, post on social media, or browse your favourite site, you’re leaving data that others can use to define the Digital You. This also includes events that happen in your life that others post online as well. In fact, studies show that companies can still predict your behaviour based on what people you know post on their social media. At ScoresMatter, we provide you with guides on how you can manage this part of the Digital You. You can receive tips on what you should have in your social media, and even how to create websites or blogs that can improve what people are seeing about you online. We also keep you up to date with the latest in privacy news so you can stay informed on any development that could affect the Digital You.
The Items You Can’t See: When you’re looking to learn more about the Digital You online, you probably start by Googling your name. While this can provide you with some immediate information on the Digital You, it isn’t the only place details about you may exist online. In fact, some of your most private information may exist in a place called the Dark Web. Search engines can’t index the websites on the Dark Web. Which as you can imagine draws in all types of criminal behaviour. So it goes without saying that this isn’t a place you would want any personal details to end up. With an increase in the number of breaches and scams, the sensitive details of the Digital You are more likely than ever to end up on the Dark Web. Once there, criminals will sell, buy, trade and compile your details until they have enough information to commit fraud.
At ScoresMatter we scan to see if criminals are selling your details on the Dark Web. We also provide you with tips to help you prevent your information from ending up on the Dark Web. It is the best solution to ensure you are protecting the Digital You.
Why Does the Digital You Matter?
So why does all of this matter? We’ll take an example from the real world to illustrate. Let’s say that you and a friend are considering a new set of headphones that you want to purchase. That night, as you scroll through Facebook, your newsfeed fills your display with ads for headphones. How could these advertisers have known?
While the natural thought would be that companies are somehow listening to your conversation, evidence suggested in a Wall Street Journal article may be enough to manoeuvre the blame of targeted ads to something that on the surface seems less sinister but is a lot scarier in reality.
The truth is, that companies are becoming so advanced at tracking what you do on and offline, listening to what you say would be a waste of their resources. According to Antonio Garcia Martinez, Facebook’s former ad- target product manager, “They would need to understand the context of what you are saying—not just listen for words”, a process that he states “would strain even the resources of the NSA”.
This example only scratches the surface of the potential that the Digital You holds. Outside of what you buy, this data is being used to influence elections and will even be used to determine premiums on your insurance. China is already headed towards a future where a person’s data is used to determine the treatment a citizen receives by their government and peers.
While some of these practices are not yet standard, understanding the Digital You is the key to having control over the way the world perceives you. It isn’t necessarily something you should be scared of, but like any part of your identity it should be something you want to control.
So go ahead, take the opportunity to meet the Digital You. It has the potential to be an eye opening experience into the way others perceive you.
Tap Into the Digital You with ScoresMatter.
It can be difficult to evaluate the effect your Digital You has on your life, that is until you start paying attention to it. The more you learn about the ways you shape the Digital You the more you can understand the effects it has on your life. Most importantly, you can take action to improve it.
It all starts with a tap. One click and you can start your journey of insight and discovery into how the world perceives you.
Tap Into The Digital You® with ScoresMatter. Become a member today!