Are you a serial link clicker? A reactive commenter? A forgetful Googler? How about a habitual website browser?
With all of the content available these days, it’s easy to waste hours of your valuable time on the internet, and it’s even easier to think what you see and do on the internet will remain anonymous. Whether you’re searching for informative blog posts, news stories, funny cat memes or business websites, remember your message and where it will be displayed. Just as in person, know your audience and the community in which you’re speaking—what you post and view can follow you, and if you’re not careful, your online interactions can have a negative impact on your professional life.
Make sure the digital footprint you leave behind is a step forward rather than a step back. Here are our tips for practicing good “netiquette” while you’re online in the workplace:
Make sure you understand where you’re posting, what you’re posting and when you’re posting it. The chances are those photos from your 15-year high school reunion are safe on Facebook, but think twice before posting that photo as your LinkedIn profile—unless, of course, you would show up to work with a mojito in hand
Fortunately, you can turn him off. Make sure your privacy settings allow for the correct content to be displayed to the correct audience. If you’re not an active contributor on a website, disable your profile so you are not sharing misinformation with the public.
Your presence online represents you—so play nice and be professional. Avoid the LOLs and OMGs and make sure you spell correctly and portray yourself as the professional that your prospects would expect to meet. There is nothing less professional than misspelling the school you graduated from or your job title—remember to proofread before your posts go live.
Changing tasks more often just means you get even less done and it takes you longer to do it. With that in mind, close the 17 tabs you have open across three browser windows and do one thing at a time.
Apply the cloud approach to your internet searches by keeping your history synced across all your computers and devices. In doing so, you will have easy access to your previous searches, thus saving you tons of time you might spend searching for pages you already found on other browsers. Both Chrome and Firefox have Android versions, too, so you can even keep your mobile history handy.
Take advantage of the internet and make it work for you. Rather than searching for the things you want on the internet, set up www.ifttt.com notifications and the things you might search for will be delivered to you. Maximize ifttt.com to update your calendar, alert you of the weather, and let you know when you have new followers on your social sites.
Remember: with a little thoughtfulness and a bit of tech savvy, the internet can be a tool for efficiency and a demonstration of your professionalism.