Your Digital Footprint… Your Responsibility

Everything you do online.. viewing, searching, blogging, downloading, uploading etc. is a choice.  No one is forcing you to interact online or have an online presence.  It’s up to you to decide what you want to share and the amount of privacy you want.

There are many reasons why people are paranoid about sharing information online.  Stalking and itentity theft are real problems; but they can happen to you even if you don’t go on the computer.   I find that most people I know who are scared about sharing online know very little about social networks or privacy settings.    Others don’t trust the security that big companies like Google or Facebook provide, which is a valid concern.  But, your home connection probably leaves you more unprotected than the security measures that these companies have.  Hackers are just the criminals of our time; theives have always existed and will always exist.  I think we should be aware of the dangers online and educated about what we can do to protect ourselves.  Don’t miss out on what the Internet, social networks and other online systems can offer because of fear.  As Roosevelt said many years ago “All we have to fear is fear itself.”

I have other friends who choose not to participate online because they’d rather not share life happenings with their friends on Facebook or Google +, or they think it’s a waste of time.  Others have become so addicted they feel they need to go cold turkey so they delete their accounts- this never lasts for long.  For me personally, I think moderation is the key to healthy online activity.

Social networking is not the only facet of online privacy.  One of the most important ways to keep yourself protected online is to have strong passwords and not to share them with anyone.  Don’t write them down next to your desk, don’t say them outloud in a busy room, don’t tell your best friend.  I remember helping a teacher edit their Moodle page in the library (I won’t name names)  and he annouced his password and asked if it was a good password.  A couple of weeks later, he discovered that he profile picture had changed to a distateful picture of this large man.  We never found the culprit because they used his password to login and change it.  To say the least he was very embarrased, poor guy, but I think he learned his lesson.

fat man on computer

Photo credit : https://community.secondlife.com

I feel strongly that we must teach students about privacy settings, keeping passwords secure and being responsible online.  Education and knowing how to protect ourselves online is the best safegaurd online.  Here is a Youtube clip about Facebook privacy setting, something all FB users should know.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWlyut4zsko[/youtube]

4 Replies to “Your Digital Footprint… Your Responsibility”

  1. You got me chuckling on this one. As I was reading I wondered if there is an age threshold when people become more/less concerned with privacy? My guess is that people in their 30’s and older become more skeptical. Personally, I don’t trust the privacy setting of Google and Facebook. Why should I trust their privacy settings when they can’t even keep our passwords secure? For example, checkout this link from yesterday(Dec 5, 2013).

    https://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/12/05/passwords-guidelines-for-protecting-internet/

    The article also focuses on making good passwords, but what good is a great password if the service provider can even keep them secure!

  2. I’ll bet that teacher learned his lesson, wow, what a picture!

    Moderation is the key and all to often, people seem to think you need to be completely into something or have nothing to do with it. Maintaining a balance is huge. I go through spurts with certain technology avenues, for instance, this week, I know I will be active on Twitter because I’ll be attending a conference & will try to promote the awesome stuff people are sharing. Then I probably won’t tweet much until we come back to school, but my Facebook usage will increase because I’ll want to connect to friends that are far away. Everything in moderation is definitely the key.

  3. Thank you for sharing the Facebook privacy setting Video. It was useful to me. I have changed my settings already and shared with my friends too.
    I perfectly agree with you, how you started this blog post since, we choice what we want to search in online. As a teacher/educator/ parent, it is an important to know about the digital foot print.
    Positive Digital Foot Print
    5 ways of positive digital foot print. “THINK” before I post or comment in any social network.
    1,Is it true?
    2.Is it Helpful?
    3.Is it Inspiring?
    4.Is it Necessary?
    5.Is it Kind?
    “I strongly believe that digital foot print should not affect our carrier”.

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