Video: Digital Footprint

Think Like a Metaliterate Digital Citizen:

Distinguish between public and personal information and make ethical and informed decisions about appropriately sharing information online. (C)

It is fairly safe to say that we have all searched for someone online. But have you ever searched for yourself? Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have an online identity. How often do we think about this identity, and why might it be important to do so?

Your “digital footprint” refers to the information about you that is publicly available online – in other words your online reputation. The digital footprints you leave behind when you are online might include:

  • Online purchases
  • Tweets
  • Likes and Shares
  • Website visits
  • Google searches
  • YouTube watch history
  • Comments left on blogs
  • Upvotes (+1s) on Google Plus

By conducting a Web search of yourself, you will be taking a look in the digital mirror, so to speak,. First though, let’s consider why your online identity matters.

As you learned in the video, your digital footprint can have varied implications – from those annoying pop up advertisements that seem to follow you around, to more alarming repercussions on your finances and personal freedoms, even if you haven’t actually done anything wrong. Before diving further into privacy concerns, let’s consider the more personal implications of an identity that is formed for you by others based on your digital footprints.