Your digital footprint explained
What is a digital footprint?
Literally everything you do online (your online activity) is recorded on the internet. It is possible for people to look at this months or even years later. Some forms of this online activity can be easily found or viewed by others for example posts on social networking sites or through a Google search. Most of your online activity will be private, however, it may be accessible to others such as employees in the future or professionals who may wish to investigate your online activity.
How to have a good digital footprint
Remember whenever you put any images or text out on the internet, e.g. though facebook or social media, you are presenting an image to the outside world about yourself. Think if this is how you would like people to view you. If you post information or images about other people think if they would approve.
Abusive or offensive messages
If you are posting anything offensive or abusive about someone else think again! People will discover if you are abusive or offensive to others online and it is likely that others will see you as a bully or a trouble maker affecting you in the future. Serious offensive behaviour towards others online could result in you getting into trouble with the police and this will also stay with you in the future.
Advantages of a digital footprint
If you use Instant Messenger think about saving your conversations. This means that if somebody upsets you when you are on Instant Messenger you have something to show an adult. When people behave badly online, a website and/or the police are able to identify the computer that has sent the information.
Blogging is an excellent way to showcase your interests and skills online. Attaching your name to engaging blog posts shows you're passionate about a topic and can display your communicative skills. Students can blog once a week or even once every few months. Many websites like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress allow anyone to set up a free blog. Intelligent and constructive comments on other people's blogs with your name attached can also be appreciated by potential employers.
For further information about digital footprints look at the Childnet website.