Photo Credit: stephanie carter via Compfight
Digital Footprints: your history online
I’m not sure what my digital footprint is, but I think it’s pretty positive. I mean, the most recent thing I searched on Google was my name and nothing about me came up (turns out, there are a lot of other ‘Kendall ——-‘s). Technology is a dangerous thing. Imagine: lets say, when you are 5 years old, you go online and join a website of some kind. Well, to get in, you must enter your email, name, age, city, and birthday. All of these things you do because you don’t yet know better. Now let’s fast-forward 10 years. You’re in the mall with your friends and some random person comes up to you and tells you something like, “Happy Birthday,” and walks away. Well, that person could have gotten that information from anything…including the website you joined when you were 5. Some other sources could have been an account on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
“But that’s not true,” you say, “My stuff isn’t able to be seen by everyone! I have the privacy setting on. You can’t see my account unless I let you.” Yes, that’s true: when you have the privacy setting on, sometimes it won’t let everyone see your posts unless you let them. Let me emphasize the word ‘sometimes.’ I just recently got an Instagram account. I didn’t have one for a long time because I didn’t want everyone to be able to see my posts. When my friend asked me why I didn’t have an account, I told her that reason. She seemed surprised that that was my only reason. “Kendall, you know there’s a privacy setting,” she told me, ” and if you have it on, only your followers can see your posts!” I’m telling you now: that doesn’t matter. There are brilliant people in this world that can easily hack into your account and get a lot of information on you. With the information a hacker gets, they can easily use it against you. And believe it or not, that happens a lot.
Now, I’m not saying getting an account on a website or signing up to the latest social media thing is going to get you instantly hacked and attacked via-social-media, but I would be cautious. Back to the topic about Digital Footprints, if you have a negative footprint, when you go to apply to a collage, you are going to be considered more. Don’t post inappropriate stuff on anything, or it will come back to hurt you. That goes for Google too; searching bad stuff on Google is just as bad as posting something bad.
With all of the technology in the world today, I feel as though some people are forgetting some of the most important rules of the internet, thinking it doesn’t matter. You Digital Footprint will be active and accessible for years after you die, and has been active and accessible for years (ok, a year) before you were born. If you are tempted to post something bad on the internet or look something bad up, think about your future and think about how the post or search will affect you later.