Digital Footprints

Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion, carefully read Module 6, Section 6.1 in your course textbook, as well as the Week 3 Instructor Guidance.

Reflect: When you walk on the beach, you usually leave behind your footprints in the sand. Online, you also leave a footprint (or trail) when using digital technology. Your computer and the websites you visit create digital footprints of where you have been. Sometimes, this tracking is helpful to us. For example, if you leave a website and return later, you can simply pick up where you left without having to start over. At other times, these electronic trails could pose a security threat to you and your computer. Take some time to reflect on what you learned about how leaving a digital trail could both help and hurt you.

Write: Using the information you read in Section 6.1 of your course textbook, address the following:

Describe two digital footprints you have left within the last week. Analyze each one for potential risk on a scale of 1-10, 1 being low risk and 10 being high risk.
Write about a situation in which you or someone you know was a victim of privacy, safety, or security breach online. Describe the situation and how it was eventually resolved.
Put your name into at least two different search engines (Google, Bing, Dogpile, Yahoo, Ask.com, and DuckDuckGo are some popular ones) and review your own digital trail. Pretend you are a potential employer. What observations could you make about your own online presence? Note: If you have a common name, you may need to add additional search terms or experiment with different search terms, such as the city in which you live (e.g., Dan Smith Clinton, Iowa).
Now that you have explored your own digital trail, identify at least three steps you can take to enhance your privacy, safety, and security on the web.
Your post should be at least 250 words.

 

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