Description

This is the physical evidence left by your interaction with the Internet. This can be by posts made by you, comments about you made by others or people pretending to be you.

Websites store data of your interaction either under your real name or a username or alias that you use.

This information can sometimes be found using an Internet search engine such as Google, Bing or specialist search tools.

 The Danger

 

The rise in popularity of social networking websites and photo sharing sites now means that many people have larger digital footprints now, and companies and government departments are now using this to their advantage.

It is very easy while sitting at home to get caught up in the fun of the moment and post comments or photos without a thought of the consequences later. But the next time you are applying for a promotion, new job or benefits there is a good chance that the employer or government department will look at your digital footprint.

Employers could see pictures, comments made or evidence of social activities that may affect their decision towards offering a promotion or job.

Many companies now have a policy about using social media and some companies will dismiss or reprimand employees who make comments criticising the company or fellow employees.

It is difficult to remove a digital footprint completely once you start using the Internet and there a high percentage of children who now have their own social networking site accounts below the age of 13.

Young children tend to copy and post silly joke pictures they find on the Internet or sent to them by friends. But as they get older they begin posting pictures of themselves, of parties and posting comments about their activities. These photos and comments could still be accessible many years later when they start applying for jobs.

Even if they close their account their comments and photos might still be visible if they were shared with online friends or linked to other websites.

 Signs To Look Out For

Always think before posting comments or photos on social network sites about who might see them or read them, even in years to come.

Check your privacy settings on your accounts.

Use an alias, such as a nickname when signing up for websites.

Also check out: 

www.childnet.com/blog/how-in-control-are-we-of-our-digital-tattoo

www.childnet.com/young-people/secondary/hot-topics/online-reputation

www.thinkuknow.co.uk

www.iwf.org.uk

The CEOP

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