Just as there are rules and expectations around how we communicate with others offline, there are also expectations around our online communication. One of the best ways to help members of your school community use technology more safely and effectively is to familiarise yourself with what technology can do and what you can do to keep safe. This video clip illustrates the importance of monitoring your digital reputation and regularly searching for yourself online. 


Source:
The Ad Show, Mind-boggling mind reading experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj8WAkQWlnA&feature=youtu.be (Uploaded: 26 April 2016)

Digital Reputation

The Australian Government defines your digital reputation as the way others view you based on your behaviour in the online environment, including the content you post about yourself and others. Tagged photos, blog posts and social networking interactions will all shape how you are perceived by others online and offline, now and in the future (see https://esafety.gov.au).

How can I find out about my digital reputation?

Your digital reputation may be regarded as a reflection of who you are as an individual therefore it is important to be aware of what you say, do, upload or post on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site. Depending on your privacy settings, it is difficult to know who may see your online posts or where your personal content may end up online. An easy way to find out about your digital reputation is to search online for yourself.  

One simple way you can search is by putting your name into a search engine like Google. It is also beneficial to search in an image housing search engine such as Google Images, to discover what images of you are publically available. For a more refined search place your name in inverted commas (“ ”) when using a search engine.

As well as Google, there are a number of other search engines you can try including: 

The following points are useful to consider when examining the search results of your personal online digital reputation:

  • Am I happy with what is presented online about me? 
  • Is there anything that has surprised me? 
  • Would I be happy for my parents and grandparents to see this content? 
  • Would I be happy for my boss, teacher or a potential employer to see this information? 
  • Am I happy with the digital images of myself that are freely available online and do they accurately portray how I would like others to see me? 
  • If this information was presented to you as a stranger, what would you think of them? Would you be their friend? Would you employ them? 

To secure your digital reputation, you should be aware of both general principles as well as specific cybersafe practices when communicating online. The following sections - "General Principles" and "Cybersafe Practices" - contain information on what social networking terms mean, how to use them when interacting online and some related videos to consolidate this content.