Digital Footprint Activity (Scroll down)

How much online information do you share with other people? How much do you share without realising it? Try this exercise and find out ...

Step 1: Set a time limit of two minutes and try a simple Google search for a friend or peer. Assemble a profile from the information you find online, including any negative information.

Step 2: How much information did you manage to find in this short space of time? Was it all good? What suggestions for change might you make to the information they make available to the wider world and why?

Step 3: Repeat this exercise with yourself as the target.

Step 4: What did your search reveal about you? Compare your results to the other profile and analyse what information is freely available about you to anyone who does a similar search, including potential employers. Was there anything you would have preferred you hadn't been able to find? Anything you wouldn't want your employer or potential employer to have seen?

Step 6: Reflect on some of the digital capabilities you have just been developing through carrying out this activity:

  • Ability to search for particular online information.
  • Ability to use a range of search engines.
  • Ability to assess and critically analyse online information.
  • Ability to determine what information you want to share and with whom.
  • Ability to keep your online identity secure.

Maintaining a secure online identity is important!

Step 6: See the activities in this linked resource to learn more about your audience online, how to project an appropriate image and how to maintain your online reputation: My Digital Identity: Making a good impression online

Created By
Created by Anne-Marie Greenhill, Academic Skills Centre, University of Dundee


Created with images by C_Ki - "sand footprint tracks in the sand" • Unsplash - "binoculars looking man" • Alexas_Fotos - "frog mirror mirror image" • Sean MacEntee - "google logo" • PublicDomainPictures - "no access no entry fence" • geralt - "group team balloons" • dougbelshaw - "Wordle of my Ed.D. thesis"