Managing Your Online Identity

Young adults are very trusting people, generally speaking. Their short lives haven’t given them an opportunity for such things like identity theft or other serious problems. However, in a world dominated by social media, personal information is much more available than in times past. Unfortunately, many young adult’s identity has been stolen due to unprotected websites.

It is important to be cautious about what information you provide to Web sites and  to make sure your information is going to a trusted source.

Don’t ruin your credit

Be careful about typing your social security or credit card numbers on websites that do not have a seal of trusted source or an “s” after the “http” in the site’s URL. In this economy, having great credit is very important. Banks are pickier about who they lend money to. Even just a small negative point on your credit can ruin your chance of getting a credit card, car loan or a mortgage.

Of course, if you plan on frequently spending money online, you should invest in identity theft insurance. Identity theft is a very common problem, though many people don’t believe that it will happen to them. People who do not invest in identity theft insurance should only use cash for their purchases. Even a purchase at a trusted grocery store can lead to identity theft.

One type of e-commerce site that every customer should stay away from is a site that sells extremely inexpensive products. Often times these site owners do ship the inexpensive items to you, but the site is a mock site that allows the owner to steal your information. If the prices seem too good to be true, they probably are, and you should perform a “whois” search on the website.

It can place you in danger of predators

Often times, social media sites and free advertisement sites like Craigslist open the door for predators to enter your world. This is a scary truth that has made its way to many news sources. It is not a secret that predators use these sites as a way to connect with many women and children and lure them into a trap.

Never converse with complete strangers online. Even if there are mutual friends involved, it’s important to use caution and report people saying or asking inappropriate and personal questions.

You should always be cautious of your online activity. Though you may think you can trust strangers, you should not. For every trusting person in the world, there are five others you should not trust. Take every precaution to guard your online identity.


How many times should I take the SAT?

There is no limit to the number of times that a high school student can take the SAT. While it will be different for everyone, most people will want to take the SAT two or three times during junior and senior year of high school. Your highest SAT score will be the one that colleges use, regardless of whether it is the first or the third time that you took the test.

Spring of junior year is a good time to take the SAT for the first time. This will allow you to have plenty of time to study both before and after this test. Having a first set of SAT scores will help you to focus in on problem areas and also set up a senior year plan to get the best SAT scores possible.

Your SAT scores will show you exactly how well you perform on the math, reading, and writing portions of the test. Many students are surprised when they receive their first scores and find that they performed significantly better or worse on certain parts of the test than they expected. When you plan ahead and take the SAT for the first time junior year, you have plenty of time to improve your scores.

The summer before senior year of high school is a great time to focus on SAT test prep. Once you have your first set of scores, you have a guide to what you will need to focus on during your next round of prep. Taking an SAT prep course, meeting with a tutor, and taking online practice exams can all be part of a comprehensive plan to raise your scores when you take the SAT for a second time.

Focus on trouble areas during this round of studying. Think back to any questions that took you a long time to solve, or areas of the SAT where you could not answer a lot of questions. This is your chance to go into your next SAT prepared to handle these areas. Having taken the SAT once also allows many students to relax about the test-taking experience.

Plan to take the SAT again at the earliest test day in the fall of senior year. Many students will be happy with this score, while some will still have time to take the test again later in the fall. Check with your top colleges to find out when they will need your scores. Most will have a deadline in December or January.

Having a plan to take the SAT multiple times is a great way to get the best score possible. Spacing out your tests between junior and senior year will allow you plenty of SAT prep time to study and improve on your earlier scores.

Managing your online identity

Managing your online identity can be critical to your education and career. There are many websites that can influence your online identity and taking control of this part of your life can be an important step to building a desirable public profile. The first step to shaping your online identity is to search for your name online. Take note of what comes up first and read through the first few pages that are generated by your search.

Social networking sites can be a great opportunity to shape your public profile. LinkedIn is considered to be the most professional of all social networking websites and allows you to post a comprehensive resume online. Keeping your resume up to date can be important in building your professional online identity. LinkedIn allows you to identify your location, career field, and current company. You can also document your education, skills, and past work experience. As you link to other peoples’ profiles on LinkedIn, you will have the opportunity to ask colleagues and friends for recommendations. These recommendations will appear on your profile and can be accessed easily by potential graduate schools and employers.

Social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace can play an important role in your public profile. It is important to get familiar with your privacy settings and know what information is available to various groups of people. You will also want to closely monitor what other people post on your profile, including comments, photos, or videos. Regularly check and delete anything that you do not want included in your public profile. Photos that are public should always be professional and send a positive message to potential employers. Your Twitter account can also affect your online identity. It is important to monitor your privacy settings and control who has access to your information. Be careful about who you allow to access your profile on all of these websites, particularly when it comes to colleagues, supervisors, or professors.

If you want to fully control your online presence and your domain name is available, you may consider purchasing it for a small annual cost. You can redirect the website to an online profile or use it to create a professional online presence. This prevents the name from being used by someone else and will often appear early in search results. You will also want to check to see if any blogs, past or current, can be located by searching your name online. These should either be strictly professional in nature, deleted, or kept protected by privacy settings.

The influx of information from social networking websites can be used to your benefit during a job search or application process. LinkedIn may allow you to view friends or friends who work in your field and may provide important contacts in the future. Facebook or Twitter can be used to ask friends for job leads. By using social networking to your advantage and carefully monitoring your public image, you can take control of your online identity.

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