Reflection on my digital footprint:
When I googled myself, there is nothing that is directly related to me personally. Nothing that I have done appears in Google. However, there is a town named Dante near the city Lecce in Italy. It appears there is a school named Dante Alighieri Lecce as well.
Since I am not visible in Google, there is nothing negative that a post secondary institution or employer could find out about me. There is nothing embarrassing to stop future employers from hiring me. Someone could question if I exist or if I have changed my name, but neither of these things are true.
Since I am not visible, it also means that my friends have not tagged me personally in photos or other social media posts. I didn’t find any images of me either.
It is important to be aware of one’s digital footprint because if there is embarrassing or inappropriate content, it could scar a personal brand. For example, no one will hire someone that is cruel, racist, mean or rude to others online. In addition, it is impossible to remove damaging content from the web once it is out there.
Strategies to protect digital footprint:
- Limit the amount of personal information on the internet. I ensure that all of my online user names for online gaming platforms do not use my real name. There is no personal information other than for registering for accounts. This keeps my online gaming profile safe and appropriate.
- I limit the kinds of information that I post on my social media accounts. Mostly, I just repost funny memes from others. I don’t have a lot of original content. And I don’t take or share any personal photos of myself, my friends or my family. This strategy also limits the amount of information that can be gathered about me.
- My friends listen to me about posting stuff related to me on their social media accounts. If my friends want to post something with me in it, I make sure it is harmless first. In the past, I have asked friends to take down videos or photos that I didn’t like. I don’t want embarrassing posts about me or my activities on the web. I want to be near anonymous.
Everything that is posted to the internet stays on the internet. It is very difficult and near impossible to remove things off the internet once it is posted, even if it is removed from the original location. All someone needs is a screen shot of what was posted in order to save it (even if it is removed later). You never know who has saved the information. And then it can be easily re-shared over and over without your knowledge or permission.