Digital footprint is the term that refers to the digital traces, trail, or footprint that is left behind after online activities and is available for others to find. Digital life is both public and permanent. Your digital footprint is impacted by what you post online and also by what others post about you. Something that happens on the spur of the moment - a funny picture, an angry post - can resurface years later. If we are not careful, our reputations can be harmed. In addition, a bad digital footprint can affect our future livelihood. Colleges are now checking the social media postings of potential students, and employers are doing the same for applicants.
What contributes to your digital footprint?
A simple Google search of your name should give you a glimpse into your web presence. The following are examples of online sources that reflect your digital identity and contribute to your overall digital footprint.
- Classroom and personal websites
- Twitter account postings
- Facebook postings
- Instagram posts
- YouTube uploads and channel subscriptions
- Blog postings
- Social bookmarking
- Conference presentations
- Product evaluation comments
- Digital portfolio
What you post on the web and through social media is permanent. Even if you decide to delete the content that you posted later, anyone who has access to the internet and the same social media sites as you may have downloaded or copied your content and uploaded or re-posted it to other websites or social media postings over which you have no control. Internet engines and social media sites also regularly search the internet, archive content, and republish information.
- Always think twice before posting any content or opinions on the internet or social media sites.
- Consider creating separate accounts for personal and professional use if you think anything you post might reflect poorly on you or your school, department, or SPPS.
This page includes text used with permission from Houston Public Schools.