The Digital Footprint Is The Evidence Of A Technology User's Actions

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A “Digital Footprint” is the evidence of a technology user’s actions. Every online activity leaves traces behind, which can be searched, referenced and used in ways as varied as the people who might do that searching. Learning and following the basic rules of Digital Citizenship minimizes the often negative impact of a broad Digital Footprint, and helps to create a productive and satisfying digital community.
American students may feel as though they have a right to privacy, but in the online world, that privacy is a myth. (Brooks-Young, 2010) Anyone with basic computer skills can find ways to hack into private pages, and for students to be safe, they must be made completely aware that everything they post in any media may come back to haunt them. Forever. As educators, a top priority in a connected classroom must be to help learners understand the importance of protecting themselves. As Digital Citizens, they must learn to self-protect from people who aim to “disrupt and harm”, as noted in the 9th element of Digital Citizenship. (Ribble, 2015). The invisible nature of many of these dangerous people makes it difficult for adolescents, whose minds are not fully capable of abstract thought, to protect themselves. A 13 year old who may “overshare” in the classroom, where people are physically present, is in grave danger of exposing personal information that can be used to hurt them, when their audience is not visible. For students who may be quiet in person, but active online,

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