A short guide to the meanings of these two terms
Digital Identity - The collective online
presence one accumulates across a personal
range of websites.
Digital Footprint - The traceable record that
remains in the digital world, of a users
interactions with the internet.
Your digital footprint is
concerned with the trail/
traces your ‘footprints’
It consists of the
websites visited and in
general the entire online
for an individual or
This includes digital inputs
such as status updates,
bookmarks, reviews, search
results, and any other content
created or consumed.
Whilst browsing online you
will leave a variety of traces of
your online self. Some
content you actively volunteer,
such as your Facebook
However, some material is
passive, meaning a site
obtains it without your
knowledge. For instance,
this could be from the
cookies a site stores in
All this data can then be
combined to build a profile
of you and your behaviour.
Footprint are mainly
social media and
both individual topics
which will be covered
in more detail in the
For now, the best way
to summarise Digital
Identity is to say: it is
an online identity
adopted or claimed in
cyberspace by an
Like its human counterpart, a digital identity is
comprised of characteristics, or data
attributes, such as the following:
Date of birth
Username and password
Online search activities
Purchasing history or behaviour
For homework you will look at a
list of people who got fired from
their jobs, all because they never
properly managed their digital
For example, a teacher once had
a photo taken with a drink in
each hand smiling. Shortly after
being tagged in the photo she
was forced to resign.
Therefore, bringing to our attention the
problem with leaving a digital footprint, or a
poorly managed digital identity.
In most cases it brings together all aspects
of your life for the viewing public, including
the aspects you rather it didn’t!
Read through the following article:
At this point, you should have a firm grasp of
the topic and understand the terms Digital
Identity and Digital Footprints.
Please answer the following questions, be
prepared to share your answers with the class.
List some of the ways in which you can make people
like and respect you?
2. Who might be following your digital footprints?
3. How can your digital footprints become a problem for
you both now and in the future?
4. What advise would you give other students your age, on
how to manage their Digital Identity and Digital