Why have I chosen it as a topic for my blog?
I have been introduced to “digital footprint ”in the first session of my master’s module Digital Literacy. In the class, we talked about how important our digital footprint is. From that time I decide to explore more about it, which made me choose it as a topic of one of my blogs.
“I blog as I learn and I learn as I blog” says (@JenTechlearning). After I have read about digital footprint, I would like to highlight some important point about it.
What is digital footprint?
Digital footprint is anything left behind by people in the digital world and some of it can be viewed by anyone (O’Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson, 2011) . For example, social media activities, pictures, personal websites and so on.
It is not so popular between the students and youth to think about their footprint these days. This ignorant would make their footprint uncontrolled and might reflect some aspect of their life that they would rather not share. This could affect their study at the university or their future job.
To find about more about your digital footprint, you can google your name and see what public information are linked to your name. Moreover, Pipl.com is a search engine for people which is even better than the google search to check your digital footprint and can provide more specific information.
So this kind of tools could have an effect for seeking a new job if there are some unpleasant stuff about you on the internet.
How can I take care of my digital footprint?
There are some tips I would suggest to control some of our digital footprints:
- Use private account instead of public ones.
- Be careful with sharing too many stuff.
- Google yourself from time to time to see what would come up.
- Use tools such as Ghostery to “remove third-party page elements. These can be things like social network widgets, advertisements, invisible pixels used for tracking and analytics, and so on. Ghostery notifies you that these things are present, and which companies operate them. You can learn more about these companies, and if you wish, choose to block the trackers they operate.”
To test this out, I have installed “Ghostery” in my Safari browser to see who can access my browsing activities. I found several companies follow my footprints in different web pages. Twitter, for example, is the most seen one to follow my footprint. The tool also allows you to disable them.
Finally, I think it is important to educate students about their digital footprint. Try to make them aware of the stuff they post online and how this could affect their career and future.
The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and FamiliesGwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, Council on Communications and Media
Pediatrics Apr 2011, 127 (4) 800-804; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0054