Have you ever gotten the feeling that you’re maybe a bit too comfortable online? Is this you:
Maybe you should reconsider you internet usage then. In yesterdays lecture I learned all about the idea of a digital footprint and more importantly the repercussions of having a negative online identity.
Now you might ask, what is a digital footprint?
Simply put it’s the digital traces or memories of your time online. Anytime you log in or log out of a website, make purchases, chat messages, email and much much more. Basically, everything you do on the internet is archived and linked back to your IP adress a.k.a you. So yes, that questionable blog you made about the Jonas Brother back in grade 7 or that not-so-kind comment you posted on a Nickelback forum is still readily available with a quick search.
Don’t be too worried though! For the most part this information will only be used for two things:
- data mining
- profiling purposes
In other cases, there are ways to be in control of your online identity so at least those who search you up on google won’t come across anything too horrendous.
- Google yourself to see what actually come up (and what you need to control)
- Start making more reputable websites under your name (specifically ones associated with a google domain, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress etc.)
- Make enough of these websites to make all the more embarrassing ones go further down the google page results
The main reason why many people are so open on the internet is because it feels like there are no consequences from their actions but really, it’s just not instantaneous consequences. Picture this:
There’s two people applying for a job interview: one of them being yourself and the other person being a different completely qualified individual. If both of you are equal in your education and qualifications where do you think the interviewee goes next….?
Your digital identity.
So, if you happen to have an abundance of crude blog postings or drunk photos on facebook your possibly future employer will see this. Even worse, if the other person vying for the same job has a clean and respectable digital identity they will get the job.
Why not just be courteous and careful for as to what you post? Is this too difficult to simply try? If everyone in the world were a little bit kinder online, imagine where we could all be both as individuals and socially.
Finally, if you aren’t convinced to be a little more careful on the internet…if you ever so happen to die in a suspicious maner (knock on wood that you don’t!) the police will go into your internet history and look at your digital footprint. Do you really want the police looking at mean or ridiculous things you’ve done or would you rather them see you in a positive light?
Think before you post.