What's your digital footprint?

Discover your online identity

What is a digital footprint?

On the Internet a digital footprint is the word used to describe the trail, traces or "footprints" that people leave online. This is information transmitted online, such as forum registration, e-mails and attachments, uploading videos or digital images and any other form of transmission of information — all of which leaves traces of personal information about yourself available to others online.

-Source: Webopedia

(Free online dictionary for words, phrases and abbreviations that are related to computer and Internet technology.)

Common Sense Media: Digital Footprint Intro

Establishing an online identity

When you consider establishing a deliberate online identity there are a few important best practices to keep in mind.

See how this high school student established a positive digital footprint

3. Abbas's Story - Pride In Your Digital Footprint

Social media lets the world hear your voice in conversations that matter to you

When you interact online you leave a digital trail. Be deliberate in what you share and think how it would appear to potential colleges, employers, friends, and family. Show your best side and share what you care about with the world.
  • Comment on articles and blog covering topics important to you
  • Share thoughts on the Facebook pages of your favorite shows and causes
  • Tweet insights during news events
  • Join Twitter chats about topics you care about
  • Engage in Twitter backchannel conversations to make meaning of lectures
  • Comment on the videos that inspire and teach you

Stand behind your words

While you may choose to use a pseudonym for that which you don't want to become a part of your footprint, it isn’t a bullet proof method that prevents what you say from being traced back to you. For that to happen, you'd have to be flawless in your execution of every single interaction, no matter how big or small. For most people this is just not possible.

Remember even if you don't use your real name, you are still legally responsible for your actions and the same consequences exist.

Online and Social Networking Trends for College Admissions Officers

Online and social networking trends for employers

Thirty-seven percent of companies use social networks to research potential job candidates according to a 2012 study from Career Builder.

Here's what they're trying to find out

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What turns up when someone searches you?

Whether at school or away from school, whether talking to friends, family, or school staff, what you say, becomes a part of your online profile. If it is digital (even if it is private) it is possible that your words, images, and videos will become a part of your online footprint. Follow the instructions below to take a look at your online reputation.

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Family Involvement

Lessons for back in the classroom