Your digital footprint can have a lasting impact on your reputation, relationships and employment opportunities (both positive and negative). Understanding how this works is an important step in making this impact positive. To learn why your digital footprint matters, watch the following Internet Society video. Technology is becoming an important part of our personal, academic and professional lives.
This can be good, bad or ugly depending on how we use it. As teachers, we want to adequately prepare students for their careers and their future. A big part of our students' lives, and probably ours as well, is their relationship with technology and the digital footprint they are leaving and how that footprint will affect their current and future lives. One way of thinking about fingerprinting is the data that accumulates about you online or that you share online.
For practical tips on how to clean a fingerprint, read the ABC News article How to Protect Your Children from Their Fingerprint. If you think your digital footprint doesn't reflect your best qualities, it's comforting to know that there are steps you can take to clean your digital footprint (and improve your reputation). For more information on fingerprinting, read the Scan magazine article Expert Perspectives on Education for Positive Fingerprint Development. With Bitdefender digital identity protection, you can investigate the digital trail linked to your email address and phone number.
Since remote work has increasingly become the norm since the pandemic, managing your digital reputation is especially important for your career, as your digital personality represents you in the online world, allowing employers to better understand you. If this concerns you, why not take action and get involved with established digital privacy groups, such as Digital Rights Watch, the Australian Privacy Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation or Privacy International? Unlike a positive digital footprint that helps consolidate a good online reputation, a negative digital trail can cost you opportunities in all walks of life. It's vital to know the potential negative effects of your digital footprint, but it's just as important to know how you can manage your fingerprint to stay safe. All people of all ages and professional levels, including students, should take charge of their digital footprint by knowing what it is, thinking about their identity and taking steps to build a positive digital reputation through their online behaviors.