Thing 3 & 4: Digital Footprint and Digital Security

Thing 3: Digital Footprint

What is a digital footprint? It’s the data you leave behind when you go online. It’s what you’ve said, what others have said about you, where you’ve been, images you’re tagged in, personal information, social media profiles, and much more.

How to complete Thing 3

Step 1

Watch the above video.

Read the Digital Footprint document on e-Professionalism 

Read the Digital Footprint E-professionalism Case Study 

Step 2

Google yourself. Go to, type in your name, and see what results come up.

Step 3

Write a short blog post reflecting on what you found and your thoughts on Digital Footprints.

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about Digital Footprints you can register and participate in the short 3-week Digital Footprint MOOC  (Massive Online Open Course) run by Louise Connelly and Nicola Osborne.

The MOOC focuses on the different dimensions of a digital footprint, including developing an effective online presence, managing your privacy, creating opportunities for networking, balancing and managing professional and personal presences (e-professionalism). By the end of the MOOC you should be equipped to ensure that your digital footprint works for you, whether you want to be more private online, or are looking to create a more effective and impactful presence.

The MOOC is run repeatedly throughout the year so you can sign up and join in any time.

Go to the Digital Footprint MOOC

Further Resources

Thing 4: Digital Security

When online we need to be aware of the limits to digital security and privacy. Who can see the information that we send? Can someone else read your emails? See your Facebook or Twitter profiles?

This also applies to the apps you use on your phones and tablets. Do you know what data you’re sharing and how it’s being used by your apps?

How to complete Thing 4

Step 1

Read the Smartphone Security Information created by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. Two documents are available on the page, the first ‘Using apps safely and securely’ and the second ‘Safer Smartphones – A Guide to Keeping your Device Secure’.

Step 2

Go to Settings on your phone or device and look at what information your apps are using.

Apple iPhone or iPad / Android / Windows

Or use  to check through the permissions on your devices and social media platforms.

My website

My Permissions  – Apple Store

My Permissions – Google Play

Was there anything there that surprised you?

Step 3

Write a short blog post on what you found/did not find being shared by your apps.

Additional Resources

If you’d like to learn more, The University of Edinburgh runs an Information Security Awareness Week in October. The week focuses on why information matters to all University staff and students, and how you can take some very simple steps to quickly protect your personal data and research content.

Further information will be posted on the Information Security webpage closer to the week.

Further resources:

Bonus Thing A

Consider creating a definitive ‘About Me page’. This is a space where you can tell the world who you are, what you do, where your interests lie, and link your online presences all together in the one place.

This can be by adding an ‘About Me’ page on your blog,  or using a specific site such as About.Me.

If you already have an ‘About Me’ page, consider sharing this by writing a short blog post with a link to your ‘About Me’ page and how it works to represent you online.

Tip: Type “about me examples” into a Google image search to see examples of how others have created their own page.