Protecting Your Digital Footprint

I have chosen a video that I found several days ago on SchoolTube called “Protecting Your Digital Footprint”

I really enjoyed this video, not only because it was a good source of information for myself, but I also think it could be very valuable in teaching students, colleges, friends, family and the like about the impact of the things you post online. There is a hype in the media and society about how employers are checking Facebook before hiring people, and “you better be careful,” but in my mind people are not really taking these open threats seriously. Do we even know what kinds of postings have negative impacts? Is it just photos of us really drunk and inappropriate at the bar, or can a picture of us holding a casual beer send negative vibes? In my mind, if you are of the legal drinking age the latter should not matter, but these are issues that not just adults need to be aware of.

More and more students are on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools, and are unaware of what exactly they are getting themselves into when they click “I accept” to the terms of use. As business educators, and educators in general, I feel it is very important to educate students on responsible use of services like Facebook as they begin to build their digital identity, and make those first, but big, digital footprints. What they post, is truly on the web forever, and something that may seem irrelevant at age 16, could come back to haunt them in future years. But I want to stop here because I don’t feel that scare tactics and threats are necessarily the best way to go about educating students about their digital identity and digital citizenship.

I think we need to take a more positive, proactive, and optimistic point of view when we are discussing digital footprints, rather than, like this video, a tad bit negative, “don’t do this, or this, or that” approach. I do like this video, and would show it to students but I personally would spend more time focusing on the great things you can do online to build your digital identity and essentially make yourself “google-able”. What you put online shouldn’t have to hurt you in getting a job, I think it should be a huge staple in getting that job! I think creating electronic portfolios through WordPress or  other similar sites is a great way to have students begin taking positive steps in putting themselves online, and showcasing their strengths, work and employability skills.

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