Since the birth of the internet we have been inundated with the knowledge of what is going on in many other parts of the world. The advancement in technology has also helped us communicate on many devices. With so much information now at our fingertips, how much of ourselves is out there for anybody else to find?
In Australian Secondary schools, they have introduced into the curriculum, a new digital identity program to help the students navigate the world wide web with their own digital footprint and to act responsibility online, just as you would in a real-life scenario.
This 7 step program is about having a positive digital footprint and enhancing their digital identity. These steps are outlined next.
Firstly, google yourself. Check all your name’s and online usernames. If you find anything negatively posted about yourself, try to remove it. Send in complaints to the website you may find your name on and report it. If you have any old social media accounts no longer in use, request the social media provider to delete it.
Second. Your privacy settings. On social media platforms, have these set to friends only, or private. This limits the amount of people who can see you, and also less chances of things going wrong.
Third. Tagging of yourself in pictures and videos. If you are not happy being tagged, ask them to remove it. If not, report the picture or video. One should not tag other’s without permission.
Fourth. Random people added to your social media platforms? If you are unfamiliar with people, you do not know in the real world, unfollow/unfriend and block. Don’t be fooled by ‘suggestions’.
Fifth. Always make positive choices. Stay in control in the online world. Making poor choices can mount legal and social consequences. Screen captures are real. Keep your interactions positive, light, useful, and true.
Sixth. Building your brand. What you post online and say may impact your future. Your social media accounts should portray you in a positive way. Sharing your achievements and passions in a professional way makes you powerful to networks.
Seventh. Treat others how you would like to be treated. If you or your friends are having difficulties online, reach out for offline support from family or others.
And now, the students in Year 10 will be able to sign up to digital identity. To access centrelink services, medicare and so on. It is a secure program that will not require passwords and is convenient as we all don’t carry multitudes of paperwork on us. As long as you are prepared for the government to have control of this new digital identity, in which all your movements will be tracked. The government will be able to tell if you have been to work or school, where you hangout with your friends, and whatever you post online. All your financial transactions will also be monitored. Not to mention all your medical records are accessible by the government.
Will there be a buyer’s remorse in years to come? Will you be happy to be watched by big brother? Only time will tell. Should we continuously allow our education systems to take away parental rights when it comes to what we perceive is in the best interests of the child?