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Digital footprint: The cyberspace that never fades

Mrs. Aarti Mishra
Mrs. Aarti Mishra (7 posts) View Profile

It can be easily said that in today’s world we are living online and I think we still have yet to fully realize the implications of doing so, one of those implications is that our tracks through the digital sand are eternal!

 

 

 



The internet and other digital technologies permeate all aspects of life in a modern technological society. It is the entitlement of every student and every individual to have safe and appropriate access to the internet and other digital technologies, to enrich their learning and help all of us to be ambitious. A global issue in today’s world is where to stop or setting self limits to social media and internet usage. We are in an era where a virtual life exists in everyone’s life in some way or the other and at a certain point of time it becomes difficult to manage or segregate the physical and the virtual world, especially the social media platforms. The basic need to understand is the fact “Once you post, it is no longer in your control.”  We don’t have a choice whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it. It is important to teach children to build a positive online presence because when it comes to online spaces, children are usually taught about cyber safety and keeping information private, but curating a positive digital footprint could actually benefit them later in life.



Everyone who uses the Internet creates his/her digital footprint. People tend to think of digital media as entertainment, so they devote less mental effort than when they’re reading a printed book. All comments made on social media, the news article you share, even the purchases you make online generate a personal data trail. This data trail reveals a detailed frame of who you are and what you like and is considered valuable for being monetized by the so-called “free” services and apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and so-on. When you’re online, you are being tracked with all the pages you click on too! 

 

Digital footprints can be searched and shared by other people. So if something that you thought you were sending as a private message can easily be viewed by a larger audience, this could go to extremes and be embarrassing or hurtful, and worst of all, once it’s on the World Wide Web, it’s there forever!

 

It is basically your online reputation. What you say online can impact your life. And managing your data trail isn’t only about privacy and data security. Employers, schools, and law enforcement could use your online activity on social media to make character assessments and more. So, it’s important to keep your online identity positive. Imagine what someone might think about you based on your actions online.

 

People may not always be aware of the digital footprint they are creating. Examples of hidden data collection include websites that install cookies without telling you, mobile apps and sites that use geolocation to determine your location, and social media ads or news sites that profile you based on your likes, shares and comments to serve you advertisements that relate to your interests. So now that you know more about the ways you’re leaving a data trail on the Internet, the next step is to keep your reputation positive and your data secure.

 

When you’re using the Internet, you are always being tracked, so be careful to leave a positive online identity. I have modified my lessons continuously to engage my students and give them the depth they need to navigate to be safe online and discover more and more tools to improve their learning experience. 

 

It is very well said -“If you don’t define yourself online, someone else will.” by ~Rebekah Radice

 

With this thought in mind our aim is to ensure that all students develop an understanding of the uses, importance and limitations of the internet and other digital technologies in the modern world, including the need to avoid undesirable material and use existing, as well as, upcoming technologies safely to support, extend and enhance learning.