Your digital tracks and traces can shape your visibility, your reputation and your exposure to being targeted, hacked, spoofed… Online presence and participation is also how many of us build recognition and visibility… Conduct online has social and legal implications for professional and personal life, employability, reputation… Practice, expectations and etiquette change all the time… But footprints may be available for years, throughout (and beyond) a lifetime... And can have serious impacts on your online identity, professional presence, reputation, security, and relationships to others…
Managing Your Digital Footprint presentation for #5Rights Youth Leadership Group by Nicola Osborne
Digital Education Manager, EDINA
Nicola.Osborne@ed.ac.uk | @suchprettyeyes
Statement of Respect
I want everyone to feel that this session is a safe space.
I respect your privacy and will keep your comments
confidential. Please respect each other in the same way
These values should also apply to conduct online. Treat
others as you'd like others to treat you.
What you don’t see there…
• Some overly honest blog posts from my time as a
student. They were deleted and removed years ago.
• Chat room logs from the late ’90s (pre-Google!)
• Student film reviews– still out there but hard to find.
• Writing that appeared in print in the early ‘00s but was
never put on the web.
• Any childhood pictures or posts – the internet wasn’t
around then for me.
• Pictures I don’t like on Facebook – my tagging settings
It’s not just Facebook & social media…
My digital footprint includes
• Work webpages, news. listings.
• Pictures and video of me on
others’ photo sharing sites,
• Things people have written about
me – reviews, student comments,
• Discussion board/forum posts.
• Purchase history.
• Mobile phone and app data.
• Profiles you can’t search for:
advertiser profiles, behaviour
Yours might also include
• Snaps, WhatsApp group chats.
• Memes and gifs you’ve made or
your content has featured in.
• School or club or activity websites
• Gaming profiles and activities.
• Profiles, activity and interactions
on music sites.
• Profiles about what you do, when
and where from phone apps.
• Comments you’ve made, received
or been mentioned in online.
• Your parents’ shared photos,
We are building up giant searchable
archives of everything we’ve ever
browsed, shared, said or done…
Why does it matter?
And on rare occasions
Things change: 5 Years Can Be a Long Time...
Mhairi Black has handled it well (tweets now deleted and many more positive tweets in
their place, press questions calmly handled) but this isn’t a situation you want to be in
• What you and others say online – (usually) stays online – even in
spaces that feel private and personal.
• If content is deleted it cannot be recovered (it almost always lives on
a server somewhere)
• No one will remember what is said in a few months/years…
• Direct messages, private messages, Snaps, etc. are totally private
(they can be screencaptured/saved, some apps can also
access/accidentally expose content)
• If something bad/damaging appears online, you can't do anything
about it (you can use Right to be Forgotten requests and/or GDPR
rights*, you can block and report users, and you can outweigh the
bad with your own more representative content)
From work with our students:
5% of University of Edinburgh Managing your
Digital Footprint research participants* had
found information about themselves online
that they did not think was public.
* 2014-15 surveys, total responses: 1457
When did you last Google yourself?
Or search with Bing?
Or DuckDuckGo (recommended)?
Digital loop, digital footprint by Seth Eckert
My 12 Top Tips
1. Don’t post anything stupid (and know that you can delete things).
2. Check your privacy settings including on gaming platforms,
3. Don’t Panic.
4. Crowd out the bad stuff with the good
5. Remove content and untag
6. Avoid trolls (if you can) and, if you can’t, stay calm, report, ignore.
7. Copyright – don’t use anything you don’t have permission to use
8. Check your phone settings (apps, camera & mic access especially)
9. Think about your data
10. Consider legal issues and rights in social media
11. Respect others just as you’d want to be respected yourself
12. Know what your digital footprint looks like
you might need
to have some
Questions & Discussion
Further comments and questions welcome: