Students should understand what digital footprints they leave when working and studying online and how to protect themselves from hackers or cookies.
A digital footprint/a digital shadow/an electronic footprint – refers to the trail of data one leaves when using the internet. It includes visited websites, sent emails and information submitted online. It can be used to track a person’s online activities and devices. Online learners create their digital footprint either actively or passively.
Digital footprints matter because they are relatively permanent, and once the data is public or semi-public the owner has little control over how others will use it. Here are some tips for protecting your personal data and managing your online reputation:
- Use search engines to check your digital footprint.
- Reduce the number of information sources that mention you-Limit the amount of data you share.
- Double-check your privacy settings.
- Avoid oversharing on social media.
- Avoid unsafe websites.
- Avoid disclosing private data on public Wi-Fi.
- Delete old accounts.
- Create strong passwords and use a password manager.
- Keep an eye on your medical records.
- Don’t log in with Facebook.
- Keep software up to date.
- Review your mobile use.
- Think before you post.
- Act fast after a breach.
- Use a VPN, virtual private network”.
Connor D. 2008. A tool that calculates your digital footprint | Network World (Accessed 11.5.2022)
Footprint Calculator – Measure your Impact – Global Footprint Network
Kaspersky. What is a digital footprint? And how to protect it from hackers. – Accessed 11.5.2022.
Kellor M. 2019. How to search and find your digital footprint | TDS Home (tdstelecom.com) – Accessed 11.5.2022.