The Definition Of A Digital Footprint
A digital footprint is the record or trail left by the things you do online. Your social media activity, the info on your personal website, your browsing history, your online subscriptions, any photo galleries and videos you’ve uploaded essentially, anything on the Internet with your name on it. Digital natives like today’s students rarely think twice about putting their names on things online, so their footprints can be pretty wide.
Monitoring Your Digital Footprints
1. Be kind, helpful, and understanding.
2. Use privacy settings.
3. Keep a list of accounts.
4. Don’t overshare.
5. Use a password keeper.
6. Google yourself.
7. Monitor linking accounts.
8. Consider using an anonymous secondary email.
9. At least skim the terms and conditions.
10. Know that sending is like publishing–for forever.
11. Understand that searches are social.
There are also some extreme measures. Browsing from behind a virtual private network, or VPN, puts a layer of thick fog between online activity and real-world identity. If even that isn’t enough for your suddenly privacy-hungry students, there’s also the nuclear option.
You may have heard of Tor, the multi-layered proxy client that’s a go-to for anyone looking to access the fabled Deep Web. By routing your IP address through multiple proxies, Tor protects users from anyone anywhere ever knowing who they are or what they’re looking at.
Of course, full online anonymity would also require students to avoid all login-based media, which can be a harder task than they’re ready to accept. It may also be important to remind them that while we’re not browsing in a vacuum and we’re very rarely actually anonymous, most of our deep data is probably pretty benign.
Just make sure to let them know that everything that they post, tweet, comment or like is going down on their permanent record. Honestly, everything. That ought to get them thinking, at least.
Article By – Harshita C. Jadhav