Your digital footprint
Living in the digital age means that it is important to be aware of our digital footprint. Despite a greater understanding of technology and its influence from education in schools, are we as safe and cautious as we can be? Even when we carefully share information online, we still lose some degree of our privacy. This phenomenon highlights the importance of taking necessary steps to mitigate the risks of our information being used by others.
Risks of scams and identity theft
Criminals and scammers have the ability to prey on unsuspecting victims. They can gather information about someone online without his/ her knowledge and use them with malicious intent.
While people who are digitally literate may be less likely to fall prey to scams, they should still be careful about the information shared online. You can adjust your privacy settings on platforms to protect your personal information.
Affect employment and education opportunities
Many employers are increasingly interested in reviewing an applicant's digital footprint. For them, analysing the data online is a cost-effective way to know the candidate better even before the interview.
It is thus, important for you to always consider the potential repercussions before choosing to post something online. If uncertain about what is online, you can trace your digital footprint by searching your name and reviewing the results.
Cause damage to one's reputation
It is not uncommon for young people to update their friends about their lives via social media posts. This can occur behind a private social media page, but information can be leaked and used against a person. It is easy to think that your friends would never do that but it is important to consider the possibility.
It is important to exercise caution, avoid oversharing personal information and be aware of who you share those information with.
Make better choices online
With social media becoming an essential part of our personal and professional lives, it is increasingly important to learn and apply best safety practices. Always err on the side of caution and take preventive steps so that you do not end up becoming a victim. You can secure your digital footprint by:
• Removing posts that reveal personal information
• Switch settings to private
• Turn off geo-tagging
• Avoid sharing sensitive information
Practise safe digital footprint habits
Always think before you post anything. Once something is posted online, it can be difficult to remove and may even resurface years later. Additionally, you can build a positive digital footprint by posting only things that are helpful to others.
Take on different perspectives to see if what you post could affect present and future personal or professional relationships. Be mindful that the Internet is both a positive and negative tool.