My Digital Foot Print

Should I care about my digital footprint?

Your digital footprint is something to be given careful attention to. It holds power to our public profile and how we are portrayed. In job interviews, the hirers and interviewers will often google the name of the applicant. Articles posted about their criminal record is in the control of the media press. However, personal media illustrates how the applicant displays themselves as a person to their peers and to the world around them. It is a reflection of a person’s personality, interests, and hobbies. Online discussions posted, will reflect levels of maturity, worldviews and discussion styles (good or bad). This is why as an individual, your digital footprint should be respectful and professional to some degree, as it affects your chances in future jobs.

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Photograph: Dan Butcher (photographer) . 14 interview questions which all accountants must know the answers to (title) . 08 June 2017 .

Your digital footprint could affect your business and career. Some corporate companies have stained their public reputation through inappropriate or questionable posts. Their posts are public displays of their brand, what consumers are supporting and what consumers associate with the brand. It is not exclusive to big corporate companies to have preyed on careless digital footprints. Small businesses, investors and popular Hollywood stars will all lose public interest and support if their digital footprint is to be tarnished.

Image result for Kevin hart's homophobic post

Photograph: Orli Matlow (article publisher) . Oscars host Kevin Hart is deleting all his old homophobic tweets, but screenshots are forever . Dec 06, 2018@8:57 AM .

What strategies should I use to keep my footprint safe?

Keeping our footprint safe can vary from having no duplicate passwords to keeping others safe in the online community. First, how should we keep ourselves safe and our digital footprint private?

Image result for instagram password login

Photograph: Kristen McCabe (author) . How to retrieve a Forgotten Instagram Password. December 14, 2018 .

According to a report from an article by Carly Okyle, three out of four Americans have duplicate passwords. Using a password in an unsafe, easily accessible program to hackers will leak your password to them. If you used the same password in a more secure program containing much more important information, the password keeping the information safe is ineffective as the same password has been hacked on a less secure network. To keep your passwords safe and effective, change them every five years, do not have duplicate passwords and have strong passwords. Password checkers are available such as this one.

Photographer: John (Photographer) . How secure is my password? .  Thursday, 08/23/2012 – 20:06 .

Article: Carly Okyle (Assistant Editor) . Password Statistics: The Bad, the Worse and the Ugly (Infographic) . June 3, 2015  .

To keep your content safe and appropriate online for others, ask yourself the following questions. What’s it’s value? Does it fit your mission? Is the format the best? Is it posted at the right time? Most importantly, will you show this to your grandma?

Image result for how to make a post appropriate

Photograph: Erin Myers (Photographer) . 15 Expert Tips for Social Media Etiquette .  2/1/2016 . .

What is Digital Permanence? 

Digital permanence is the concept that anything that goes online, stays online forever. When a Facebook account is deactivated, you can reactivate it by logging in with the correct password and username. When a post is deleted, screenshots, downloads with mp3 and other strategies can still spread the deleted post online.  Snapchat also never deletes its self-deleting images and conversations. They are forever stored in their database. How can this impact us as students, family, and teachers?

13 and 14-year-old girls were murdered during a hike in Indiana, USA. A suspect was however found, thanks to the digital permanence of snap chat. Footage of them videotaping a man before their disappearance was self-deleted on snap chat. The video, in reality, was however saved in the snap chat database. Snap chat was able to cooperate with the police restore the video.

Image result for 13 and 14 year old girls killed man's voice recorded

Abigail J. “Abby” Williams and Liberty Rose Lynn “Libby” (Photographer) . Murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German . February 14, 2017 .

A negative of digital permanence links back to the impact our first question had, our public profile. When our judgment is impaired due to drugs, alcohol or strong emotions, we can make regretful online decisions. Even with deleted posts or conversations, you may be unexpectantly tagged in a questionable photo. The content also could screenshotted, saved and downloaded. Posts will also rarely self-delete and will stay online for years.

What should you take away from this?

Kevin Hart made homophobic posts online a whole decade ago (2009). Although the posts do not represent the person he has matured to be, the digital permanence of the post was found and has impacted his reputation. Decisions made online can hit you right back even ten years later. Think carefully before you post to create a safe environment for others and yourself. Change your passwords often, vary them and make them strong. In the end, respect the golden rule; treat people the way you want to be treated. What you post online can stay there forever.


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