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Digital Essentials: Your digital footprint

Digital footprint

The moment you go online you start creating a trail of information and data about you. This is your digital footprint

Your digital footprint, especially what you say and do on social media, influences what people think of you. It can affect what people think about your community as well. No matter what you do online it is important you know what kind of trail you are leaving, and what the potential effects it might have on you and your community. 

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Your digital identity is how you represent yourself and behave online.  

Your online profiles have now become a sort of digital resume as anyone can google your name or look at your social media accounts. Your lecturer, tutor, fellow students and future employers can see and share the information and photos you post online. This means it is really important that you know what your online reputation looks like and how to fix it if you need to. 


What you need to know 

  • Once you post or upload something online it can be very difficult to remove as people can easily and quickly share, copy or save it. 
  • People can easily misunderstand and change your images and words online. 
  • Something you share with a small group of friends can create cultural, social or political issues when shared with others outside of the group. 
  • Privacy settings help you control what others can see but it does not protect you completely. 
  1. Think about any content you are about to post or send.  
  2. Interact with others respectfully online and treat others as you would like to be treated. 
  3. Set your profile to private so only your friends can see your photos and posts – make sure you check regularly that the settings have not been changed by other apps or updates. 
  4. Pay attention to any photos that you have been tagged in and delete any that may cause offence. 
  1. Check your digital reputation and Google yourself - Google your name in quotation marks and add the city you live in, and see what come up. Example: “John Smith” AND Perth. Look at your digital identity from the point of view of a potential employer and ask yourself: “Do I want these things to be publically available?” 
  2. Check your privacy settings - Change your privacy settings to remove photos or posts you don’t want publically available. 
  3. Un-tag yourself - If you are not comfortable about a photo or video of you that another person has tagged you in, try to un-tag yourself or ask them to take it down. 
  4. Think before you post, like or follow something. Even as a joke, a potential employer won’t understand the context of why you have liked a page, made a comment or uploaded a photo
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eSafety Commissioner. (n.d.). Your digital reputation.