Digital Footprints and How They Affect You


Brinly Johnson, Editor

Over the past decade, innovations in technology have increased tenfold. Within these profitable progressions has come a dilemma no one was expecting: digital footprints. Digital footprints are a map of every move and click made on the internet. Protecting and refining your digital footprint is a skill that is necessary for all who use the internet. 

While a digital footprint could be simply defined as a map of your moves on the internet, it is more complicated than that. Digital footprints track every single thing you do on the internet from the moment you log on to the moment you log off. Digital footprints also include social media profiles. Everything you are tagged in liked or posted is going to be tracked. Having this open for all to view can create problems that you may not intend to happen. Simply liking a post could ruin your online reputation. It is easy to create a misjudgment of you as a person when it is openly available on your page. 

Many do not think that what they do and say on the internet will not come back to haunt them when in reality the past is always dug up somehow. Nicole Crowther was an extra on the television show Glee when she received major backlash from a tweet revealing season spoilers. Nicole was berated in her comment section and even received death threats. Justine Sacco, a former PR manager at InterActive Corp, posted a racist tweet while on her way home from a work trip. While her phone was turned off, the tweet blew up resulting in backlash from those on Twitter and losing her job. Ashley Payne was a high school English teacher when she received backlash from parents after a photo of her casually drinking alcohol was brought up to the school district. This resulted in the loss of her job. 

While some of the moves you make on the internet can not be protected, there are ways to protect your image on social media platforms. Making your accounts private is the best way to protect yourself from people who would like to twist the narrative of your personality. Having a private account also protects you from accounts that may want to inflict harm on you in real life. The most important part of protecting your digital footprint is being conscious when you post. Remembering the internet is forever and anyone can access a peak into your life is the best way to remain conscious of what you allow others to see. 

The importance of being conscious online is one of the things many people look past. Making sure you have the right blocks on your social media and computers is the simplest and most effective thing you can do. Make sure you only post things you want to accurately reflect on your character. Having a great balance of these two tips should greatly protect your digital reputation.