Your Digital FootprintThe internet is a great way for you to see the world. It's also a great way for the world to see you! "What!? Nobody can see me on the internet!"You might be surprised to learn that the world can see and learn a lot about you on the internet. They simply need to follow your digital footprints.If you've ever been to a beach near the ocean, or have gone pumpkin picking on a farm after a rainy day, you've probably seen your footprints on the ground. You might also have realized that if you looked back you could follow your steps directly back to the place where you started.It works the same way online. Your digital footprint is left on the web every time you visit a website, upload a picture, or post a comment for others to read. Your steps can be traced right back to the device you were using to get on the internet.Of course there are millions of users on the internet compared to an empty beach, so there's little reason for you to have overwhelming fear. It is important to know however that it can be done.Digital FootprintsEvery device that has access to the internet has an address in the digital world that can be traced back to a specific user. It's called an IP address, and the letters stand for internet protocol.Want to find a particular user or machine on the internet? You look for it's IP address. That's what makes a machine or device identifiable on the web. It works the same way your street address helps the mail carrier deliver mail.Of course you could have different people using the same IP address, just as there are probably a number of people living at your home address. How do you know who the mail is for? That is where a user name or user ID comes in.Your username is unique to you. It helps the world find you specifically on the web when multiple people are living at the same IP address. The username is the way people know the person they are talking to is actually you. That makes it really important to protect your username and password.Having strong character is important to becoming a good digital citizen! Protect your online reputation.Your reputation is the way others think of you as a person. People will form opinions of you based on the way you behave and interact online, just as they do in real life. A person who acts responsibly and posts kind words on the internet will be considered a good friend both online, and in real life. They are said to have a good reputation.Someone who is mean, nasty and posts inappropriate words or pictures online will start to develop a bad reputation. They might notice they are losing friends because of the way they are making people feel, or the trouble they might be getting in.It is important to know that you are in control when it comes to your reputation. Your character is what makes you the person you are, but also the person you want to be.Making good decisions online helps you become a person adults can trust to do the right thing. As the Lokato Native Americans used to say, "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."Tips to protect your reputation!The easiest way to practice is to simply think of the internet as an extension of your classroom. When you post things on the web you are making things available for everyone to see. People will form an opinion of you from your actions online.Think about what you are writing, or the image you are posting. Ask yourself, "would I hang this comment up on a bulletin board in my classroom?" Would I want people to see or hear these words coming from me? What would the consequence be if I did this in school?Strategies for developing a good reputation online...Digital Citizen Strategy #7 - Avoid the bad stuff!Avoid using inappropriate words, pictures, or websites when you are online. Remember you are leaving footprints.Digital Citizen Strategy #8 - Think before you post!Use kind words and avoid putting people down or making fun of anyone. Think how it would feel if someone wrote or said the same thing about you online. Remember that what you post will be on the web forever.Digital Citizen Strategy #9 - Tell a trusted adult!Sometime's it best to ask a trusted adult for advice if you don't know what to do. Talk to a trusted adult if you see someone else getting into trouble online. You could be saving a friend who might not know the dangers of what they are doing to their reputation.Want to see a digital footprint?Click the picture below and read the article from USA today written on October 5th, 2014 about a recent NFL football game.Some important information for you:The Detroit Lions Play Football in the NFL.The stadium can seat 70,000 people for a game.Detroit is a city with 4 million people living in it.Here are some examples of what crowds of 1 million people look like when standing in one place.How long would it take to find one "unknown" person from a population of 4 million people?Make your prediction by answering the POLL question on Edmodo.
Last Modified on February 12, 2015