Thursday, May 8, 2014

MIssion Impossible... The search is on!


digital footprint is the trail of data that is left behind by users on digital services. This week we used Google search to find our own personal Digital footprint. Your digital footprint is everything on the internet that is about you. This could include:
  • a profile on Facebook or MySpace
  • photographs that you, your friends or family have posted online
  • anything you have written or that has been written about you, for instance on discussion boards, blogs, or in articles.
We are all being encouraged to put aspects of ourselves and our lives online, and much of this content is freely available to view. Each time we add something about ourselves on the internet we enlarge our own digital footprint. Whenever we mention someone else, we enlarge theirs. Personal information is routinely collected by companies eager to market their goods or services and this can be retained for several years. Equally, your digital presence can be monitored by individuals looking for information about you. You should first check what others can see about you. 

I completed a digital footprint of myself. I started with a search for my name using Google to see what information already exists on the web.  I created a video of what I found in my search. It is recommended to repeat the search regularly using services such as Google Alerts which give automatic updates. Although you may not have added anything new, your friends and family might have.

If you use social networking sites such as Facebook, or regularly post photos, videos, blogs and comments, make sure to manage your contributions carefully, since much of the information stored online becomes public by default. Unless you change your privacy settings, your social network page will come up on a web search. Anyone who finds out enough about you could potentially impersonate you, so be careful about the personal information you make publicly available. Potential employers have also been known to reject applicants on the basis of information discovered online.



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