1. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.
A digital footprint is a mark that you leave on the internet that stays with you for all your life. Whether it be a comment, text message, or a retweet, everything that you decide to share to the media will stick with you forever. This can affect me in the near future when I am given a job opportunity. If a search is done on my name before I am given the job, and negative remarks that I made in the past come up, this will prevent me from getting the job. Although it may have seemed harmless in the moment, it's important to remember that anything I post will eventually come back to me. Another way that a digital footprint may affect me in the future is when I am applying to schools. For example, I could have a perfect university application, that could easily be ruined by a questionable social media post from years ago. Schools are cautious when investing in student applicants, so trying to prevent them from finding my digital footprint is a waste of time.
2. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.
Be mindful about what I post. Before making a post on social media, I need to be sure that it's not something that could potentially impact me in the future. I just need to stop and ask myself a few things like, is it respectful? Would I be happy if I was the person reading this? If the answer to any of those is no, then it's simple. Don't post it.
Turn on my privacy settings. On the internet, if your social media settings aren't turned to private, you should be prepared for strangers to have full access to everything you post. Instead, if you put your page on private, nothing you post will be on display for the world to see. This way it'll be less likely for my information to get leaked, and I will be kept more safe.
Strong passwords. Making sure I have a strong, complicated password is the key to avoid hackers. Hacker's goals are to get into accounts so they can expose everything you have on there to the public. Simply by making a more complex password, it'll be more difficult for someone to guess login information.
Never share my password. If I was to give my password to a close friend, and they logged into my account, chances are I wouldn't even notice. Apps like Instagram let you log into your account from multiple devices. This makes it so that if someone is on my account without making changes to my profile, they could easily be reading and saving my messages and I wouldn't notice.
3. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently online? Think of what type of advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students. How could you go about explaining it to them?
Something differently I would tell my younger self is to be cautious of who you're speaking to on the internet. Since there is often no face to face communication on the digital realm, it's easy to manipulate people by using a persona. Lots of people disguise themselves as other people to gain the trust of the other person by being deceitful. The person being talked to behind the screen can be very dangerous, and later on use the information you told them to their advantage by asking for stuff from you in exchange of not leaking anything. Just be sure that if you're making friends online, you aren't getting lied to.