Digital Footprints

Your Online Reputation Proceeds You

I find the idea of digital footprints to be a bit unnerving, but not necessarily for me. I have always been a more private person not to mention my parents set up online usage boundaries for me growing up. I am concerned about today’s youth, however. We now live in a world where meeting someone for the first time doesn’t constitute a lack of prior knowledge. Searching an individual can provide loads of information regardless of its positive or negative tone.

Having worked as a classroom teacher, I know that many students are overly involved with social media. I also know that not all students are educated in digital literacy. Don’t believe that? Search any major school district Twitter handle and find student mentions about not receiving a predicted snow day. The tweets and level of comfort with negative, degrading and insulting comments speaks to the fact that these students are unaware of their digital footprint. Much of what is posted online will live forever somewhere for someone to find, download, repost or archive. This record is the reality of our digital age.

Personally I have strived to keep a positive tone online which reflects how I chose to live my life. The idea of my mother getting on Facebook didn’t scare me as so many memes suggested that is should. This isn’t to say that I want the world to have all of my private information. The idea of continued privacy and digital footprints has prompted me to be more strategic in the upkeep of my online presence.

My Personal Digital Footprint

I started off by checking on my own footprints by searching for myself in Google. Here one could find me through facebook, but it would be hard to pick which “Cassandra Davenport” or “Cassie DFootprintsavenport” not to mention maiden name confusions. And from there I do monitor my privacy settings, so there is limited information. I do have previous cities lived in with former school districts that I worked in some cases. This information gave me pause it is something to think about.

Moving on from Facebook, my Twitter profile was the second listing, which I control and use professionally so this works for me. Other than that I do pop up as the creator of my school’s website as well as a few random postings. Google Images does host my Twitter profile picture, which is fine by me.

I also went to Bing to search and found similar results. Here a different person’s Facebook and Linkedin profiles appeared which is to be expected as I share a name with many folks.

Nothing was surprising to me during my research. I did notice that some random sites, the type where people can pay to get more “information” about a person, did have listings of correct family relations. Which I am sure were skimmed off Facebook as I recalled making those connections with family members years ago. I am uncertain that this is a problem, just unexpected.

I look forward to delving into this topic further as I set up a plan to strategically develop and maintain my digital presence.

Positive Digital Footprint Plan