My digital footprint is something I think about whenever posting online. There were a few things I learned when researching digital footprints that I hadn’t thought about before. I’ve goggled my name on occasion to see the results, but I’ve never tried it with other search engines. When I searched my name today over multiple search engines the results included all my professional accounts (YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, EdTech coursework, etc.). Luckily nothing unexpected appeared. Something else I hadn’t thought about was purchasing my domain name. This is a good idea and something I am going to do. This would definitely help me keep my name safe from someone else buying that domain name and using it for something I wouldn’t want to be associated with.
Being a teacher I always feel that you have to be even more cautious when posting online because parents/students can easily search your name and find personal accounts. That is why I make sure everything I post is professional. This is also the reason I rarely use Facebook. In the past, Facebook has changed security features and then reset privacy settings without notifying users. I think it’s a major flaw in that social network, and I would never feel comfortable thinking that information I post is really private. I also decided to use a stage name for my songwriting and music performing partly because I wanted to keep that out of my professional digital footprint.
I feel very fortunate that social networks where just being established when I was in high school and Facebook was only open to college students. This allowed me to not have posted anything I might regret today. I think that schools should spend a lot of time discussing digital footprints with students today starting in elementary school. It’s alarming how quickly your digital footprint can become tarnished if you’re not cautious and proactive.