EDTECH 543: Managing my Digital Footprint

Continuing on last week’s post about digital footprints, I have created a 10 step plan on how to develop and manage my digital footprint. Creating this road map involved researching different perspectives such as security, tech usage, behavior, and most importantly content. Since I already have a digital footprint due to my professional life as a developer, researching these areas will not only help create and maintain a positive footprint but will also improve what I have already started.

Here is my plan to managing my digital footprint.

  • Google search yourself.

Going off last week’s post, I searched for my digital footprint to see what turned up. This is very important because whatever you post online, will more than likely stay online and who knows what embarrassing things I may have posted 10-20 years ago! Luckily, Google searching myself didn’t turn up much thank goodness. You should always make sure that your Google search results do not include anything you do not your employer to see. If employers and recruiters search for you and the top results turn up negative results, you may miss out on opportunities or worse (8 steps, 2015).

  • Privacy.

It is important to make use of privacy settings for all applications you plan on using. These controls can help make sure your intended audience are the only ones able to view your content. However, the one thing that you need to keep in mind is to not fully depend on them to protect your info. Applications change their privacy settings from time to time and this may affect who can view your content. That is why it is important you double check privacy settings on occasion especially when the applications update, and most importantly use strong memorable passwords (Norton, 2019).

  • Online Behavior.

It is important to behave online exactly how I would in person. Being respectful and professional. With my line of work, every step is done in an online atmosphere so this step is extremely important. With my digital footprint, I must ask myself if I would be proud to have my parents/ employers to see the content I have posted and shared. If the answer is no, then something needs to correct at once. Deactivate or delete anything you second guess using. (Creating a positive digital footprint, 2018).

  • Use Your Name.

If you plan on using a profile, account, application, etc. for professional use, you should try to name it after yourself and not use some random screen name. This will make it easier for your intended audience to find you (Google!) and not second guess if they are at the right place or not. The idea is to get more views of your content after all right? This can also fall under the “be professional” category if you use inappropriate screen names. (8 steps, 2015).

  • Be Active.

This falls into many areas but staying active helps increase your digital footprint. For one if you stay active posting content to your blog it can help get your name out in search results. Then there is actively contributing to online communities. Engaging with others not only helps to increase your digital footprint but it also helps to build your online reputation. I am very familiar with working with online communities in forums related to web development, and it has actually helped improve my career over the last couple of years. This is something I plan on working on with instructional design. (Being Digital, 2015).

  • Optimize applications.

This is a step I really need to work on. I currently have a LinkedIn profile, but I sometimes go for long periods of time without updating. This is a habit that needs to change because many companies basically use LinkedIn as a job application, so staying up to date will help me manage my digital footprint. I need to remember that my LinkedIn profile is equal to my resume but can offer so much more too potential employers. (Being Digital, 2015).

  • Separation.

For me it is very important to not mix business with your personal life, therefore you should avoid using online applications for both. This falls into other areas I have mentioned such as privacy. You may make a specific post private to only certain people, but that cannot guarantee what you have posted cannot be revealed to everyone at some point in time. To protect yourself it is best practice to create separate accounts if you plan on using apps like Twitter or Facebook for personal and business reasons. Remember, to appear professional you need to act professionally.  Another thing to remember on your professional accounts is to not overshare information if you do not want any of your audience to see it. (8 steps, 2015).

  • Monitor profile.

Even after setting up your professional accounts to the privacy standards of your liking, and select your intended audience you still need to closely monitor your accounts. The reason being is you have no idea what people may comment or post on your accounts and you do not want it to look negatively on your end. For example, if someone posts inappropriate comments or pictures, trolls, starts arguments, etc. you do not want it there for every one of your audience to see if possible. Monitoring your accounts can allow you to clean up and remove any unwanted comments and make any adjustments such as preventing certain people from posting any further. (Norton, 2019).

  • Research and Give Credit.

When building your digital footprint, the content you create in the process will be accessible to the entire world. Therefore it is important that you follow these steps with the content you plan on sharing. First off give credit to whoever inspired you or gave you the idea of the content you are posting. Not only does giving credit help you avoid looking like a plagiarizer, but it can show your viewers you are professional with good character. Next, you should research your topic. Make sure it is original content you are making, and separate fact from fiction. Being original and not doing what everyone else does will also help improve your content and the most important step is to name your source material properly. There is more on the line than avoiding being accused of a thief, such as your reputation which can be easily damaged online. (Khairallah, 2015).

  • Digital tools.

There are many online digital tools you can use to improve and maintain a positive digital footprint. A popular one is Google alert which is a service that will notify you when your name is mentioned online! I never heard of it until this week and I have already signed up. So far nothing yet thank goodness! Another digital tool is this social profile checking tool for job seekers and graduates. There are more tools you can search for that I plan on using to make sure my digital footprint is nothing but positive. (Being Digital, 2015).


8 Steps to Creating a Positive Digital Footprint that Will Aid Your Job Search Greatly. (2015). In the Oyster Connection. Retrieved February 22, 2019, from

Being digital developing a good digital footprint. (2015). In Open University. Retrieved February 22,  2019, from the Open University website

Creating a positive digital footprint. (2018) In the Digital Teacher. Retrieved February 22, 2019, from                 https://thedigitalteacher.com/training/creating-a-positive-digital-footprint-lesson-plan

Khairallah, D. (June 30, 2015). Intellectual Property Hullabaloo: The Ethical Quagmire of Online Content Creation & Your Brand.  Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247898

What is a digital footprint? And how to help protect it from prying eyes. (2019). In Norton. Retrieved      February 22, 2019, from https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-clean-up-online-digital-footprint.html

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