Proposal: We will start by researching the impact that our digital footprint can have on our day-to-day life. Once we have identified the biggest impacts, we will begin researching various methods to minimize these impacts. Adjusting privacy settings, controlling our social profiles, and using third party applications are just a few of the ways we can look into to determine their effectiveness of minimizing the impacts. After determining the biggest impacts from our digital footprints and the best methods to minimize these, we will create a brief informative video to share the information we have collected and spread the word about the impacts and how we can minimize them. Our goal is to spread awareness about the impacts of our digital footprint and how to minimize them with tools today.
“The first way is education of a deeper user’s understanding about a digital footprint and how it can be used for his disadvantage. To this ends, it is necessary to acquaint users much more with the existence of its digital shadow and with all the possibilities of its utilization, which would help a member of e-society to avoid many troubles and pitfalls of digital media.” (Kligiene, 2012)
Impacts of our Digital Footprint
The impacts of our digital footprint are very important in relation to our future and our social status that we are portraying to others. For example employers, college admissions, scholarships, sports, and identity theft are all aspects of our digital footprint that may be impacted if we get a bad reputation for what we display and post online (Fani 2015). Most teens use some form of social media, and can make mistakes when posting content and that may be detrimental to their future. Something like a drunken photo or a silly comment can jeopardize your life and become a barrier for you to get acceptances to University, and it is crucial that you maintain a positive digital footprint. Overall one should be very careful on what they do online, and strive to have a positive digital footprint.
How to minimize impacts
We can minimize these impacts by being proactively conscious when we are using the Internet. Once you post something on the Internet, it is very difficult, if even possible, to have it removed, therefore you must think twice, even more, about what you are posting. Always take a step back and think about what you are posting and how can people perceive this? Think about how the content you are posting will affect you in two, five, or even ten years from now. You can be denied a job, scholarship, or acceptance because of a single comment from three years ago you decided to post on Facebook that was offensive.
Another way to minimize these impacts are to adjust your privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. You can create groups in Facebook for each category of friends to decide who will see certain posts. Create different groups for friends, family, and coworkers. When you are posting content, decide which group it is intended for.
Here are a few links that teach you how to set your privacy settings on all major social media accounts:
In addition to adjusting your privacy settings using the guides above, it is considered great practice to constantly monitor your online presence. When employers and other superiors are making a decision, they usually look up your name online and see what comes up, if they find something inappropriate, they will unlikely make the decision in your favour (Joyce, 2014)
Another great tool is BrandYourself.com. By creating a profile on BrandYourself.com, you can see everything that comes up when people search your name or are looking at your online presence. The tool allows you to control what is seen, allow you to resolve any misidentity, as well as help you create a positive online image for yourself online using a free webpage that can be used as a resume, portfolio, or more.
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