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Transcript - Managing your digital footprint

 TUTOR: OK. So today we are doing a brand new session which is managing your digital footprint. And what we are going to cover is that by the end of the session, you should be able to define digital footprint, which is quite an important concept in our digital age. And it has got quite a lot of meaning, and a big impact, as well, professionally, how you're going to use that.  

In that context, you will also learn how to define E-professionalism and act in a professional way electronically that is appropriate. And closely related to E-professionalism is how you use social media in a professional context as well, and what the pros and cons of using social media are. And then we should ideally be able to implement tips on using social media.  

OK. So. Right. So just to actually make a start on what a digital footprint is. You've probably heard the term before. Some of you might have, at least. It is nearly everything about you online.  

And this includes what you said online, what was said about you online, what you liked, what you retweeted, and what you shared online. And also, where you are or have been online. So it's actually quite a lot. It's basically your activity online, which is being traced and remembered digitally.  

So this information, why is this important and how is it used? Well, it is very often used nowadays for marketing purposes and also by employers to check candidates. So it does make a difference what you actually do as a student, and it can make a difference to your future employment as well, how you use it, if future employers are scanning your social media use and your digital footprint as a result.  

So there is also a record then of what you've clicked on and what you've searched for. And also your IP address, so that all goes into it. So just to actually get a bit of an idea of what you can find online about what digital footprint there is, if you use the search engine like Google, which actually picks up activities which have been going on before.  

Google remembers what you've searched, so this is what I mean by activities. Whatever you've actually searched for in Google will be remembered, and that gives you some indication of your digital footprint. And it can also be quite surprising what you find about yourself in Google search results, because you might not realise that certain things come up.  

So if you want to actually do that activity briefly, you might get a bit of a taste there of what your digital footprint, or at least part of it, might look like. So if you go and search your name on Google, have a look at the results and look at whether there any surprising results. And feel free to comment in the chat afterward.  

So just go on Google. Do that for a couple of minutes, and then we can actually discuss whether there were any surprises.  

Some things we would probably expect, for example, sometimes it comes up with - well, yes - some of the social media which we are using. Where we are working, for example, can come up. But there might be something entirely different which Google noticed and recorded and remembered.  

Of course, that can be done on other search engines as well, but I'm using Google because it's one of the most widely used search engines. And it has got usually mostly the most relevant search results. I use sometimes other search engines as well, but less frequently.  

OK. Have you found anything surprising when you Googled your name? Has it remembered anything you've searched which you thought, oh, gosh. I don't know why it has remembered that. I'm not aware of this. Or were you pretty much expecting what you found?  

I see there's quite a bit of typing going on, so I'm waiting a bit. All your social profiles and even videos-- oh, yeah. Your alias, which I hoped would hide my name when searches are conducted. That's quite an interesting one, isn't that, Lisa? That it kind of comes up with that as well.  

I like that, Elizabeth. You share a name with a famous American who is a political activist. Well, maybe. Yeah, maybe that might be a good thing. You don't know.  

Yes, of course. There are sometimes cases of mistaken identity. Where you might just find not necessarily yourself, but someone else who shares that name and it's really their footprint. You did find yourself though, Elizabeth. OK.  

Facebook page. Yes, that is what I find as well. The social media as both you, Jan and Lisa, have said very much present in Google results when you find your name. So this is something to be aware of. That will come up.  

OK. Lots of people have your name, Raki. OK. You can't-- OK.  

It might be because either the other people with your name are using it a little bit more. That is one possibility. Or you are-- you haven't actually used the Google searches quite so much. Could be either.  

OK. So you found basically the social media quite-- I don't know whether it was surprising but that was definitely characteristic you found. OK. Let's have a look at a next bit.  

So we are now roughly aware of what Google remembers when you search for your name - your activities, your social media usages, et cetera. But if you wanted to hide what you're doing, if you wanted to keep your digital footprint from a search engine and you just want to do a search without being tracked really, you can use either a search engine that doesn't track you. So one of them is DuckDuckGo.  

Funny name, but that's a database where you can avoid this. Or you can use web browsers that offer enhanced privacy mode for browsing the internet. So depending on what browser you use they're called something slightly different, but it's usually quite recognisable.  

For example, on Google Chrome it says incognito mode, and in Firefox it's private browsing. So that won't track you, and that then you won't have these sometimes comfortable, sometimes uncomfortable surprises when you Google your name. That is a possibility. If you just want to search for something which could have been misconstrued, for example.  

OK. And you find more information there as well. Sorry. I skipped one slide.  

So and now in this context of our digital footprint, I want to talk a little bit about social media. You've just said that part of your digital footprint on Google, for example, was what your social media activity was like. And that is a basic component, usually.  

Because most of us, I've seen that in the poll as well, most of you use social media quite a bit. Some of you have said every day or quite frequently - almost every day. So it will be worthwhile checking how we use social media and really harness the benefits of it, also for professional usage.  

And by that, I also include studies, really. So It's really an online platform where you can publish your content. The content can include text, photos, videos, and phone. And you can have lots of different interactions with people and use it to your own benefit and those of others.  

So some examples are Facebook. It's probably something most of you will use. One platform, Twitter. I assume most of you will probably use that as well, but I'm going to have a poll in a second. LinkedIn will become more and more important when you are going into a certain profession. I will talk a little bit more about this later on.  

YouTube, again, is probably something most of you are very familiar with. But it also includes blogs. It could include forums, wikis, and review sites or photo sharing sites. So it does include quite a lot.  

And just to get an idea of what platforms you're mainly using, I'll just bring up a little poll. And if you want to indicate what you're mainly using, what your preferred social media platform is, I'll get a bit of idea of where we are.  

OK. That's a nice spread. I know you're probably using several ones, but we're just thinking about the preferred one. OK. OK.  

There's one of you who doesn't really use social media. Three of you, Facebook. That's what I expected, so I will spend a little bit of time on Facebook.  

SnapChat, one. Yeah. That has come into its own as well. I'm not so much going to talk about that later one, but I know that it is popular.  

LinkedIn, that's heartening to see. And the blog as well, which is great. And a couple of you don't use it. I'm surprised that Twitter isn't a preferred social media platform for anybody, but that's fine. We get a nice spread.  

OK. And now in this context, I also want to link that now to E-professionalism. So that is how you use social media in a professional way.  

As we've noted earlier on, this is important for the digital footprint as well, what you leave behind, what will be found under your name. And E-professionalism includes being able to understand and use social media in a work context, and also how you manage it in a responsible way. The digital footprint, as I've just mentioned.  

So really, social media can be an opportunity for both you as students but also professionals. Because it allows you to keep up to date with developments in your field. There is huge opportunity for that.  

It also allows you to network with other students and professionals. And some employers actively look out for candidates on social media. So this is something I mentioned earlier on, and this is definitely something to be aware of.  

So especially LinkedIn. That is a huge benefit if you've got a well updated LinkedIn platform and LinkedIn profile. And really - future employers can actually see what you've already done.  

OK. So LinkedIn is what I want to actually talk about a little bit more in a second. However, I'm very briefly doing a screen share first before I'm going to share the LinkedIn slide. So I'm just going to share what I've got on the screen.  

Bear with me a second. You will probably see blackness for a second. OK. It will come in a second.  

So I think it's that one. OK. I think that's exactly what I wanted to show. OK. Sorry, it's a bit fiddly. I think that's where we are now.  

OK. So I'm just showing you at the moment how Twitter looks like. I know none of you have indicated that it's necessarily your preferred platform, but it has got huge potential. So this is our OU Library Twitter platform. So you can see that there is quite a lot going on.  

And we've got very regular posts here. Here, for example there is information on some eresources for lost gems, which might be of interest. Here there is our session advertised as well, so we do this.  

There are also some very different types of Information. Here, you find some things from the OU archive, and there's quite a bit more here. Something about the COVID-19 crisis as well.  

And there is also a little bit of entertainment. It's not just about our resources and training sessions, although we sign post that quite a bit. But we've also got our little mascots, our library mascots, which are there also for your entertainment. And here we've got something on National Tea Day, 'cause they all like their tea and biscuits.  

OK. So it's very useful to actually visit our Twitter site. Just if you want to find out what the next training sessions are, some good eresources. We highlight certain things, and you can also engage with us there.  

So that's quite a nice platform to engage with. And I'm just going to briefly show you another Twitter site. That's an organisational Twitter site. I mean, of course, the OU Library is organisational as well, but I mean now professional-- for a particular profession, which you might be going for which is the nursing profession.  

Just one example. You will probably find something else as well. Twitter sites for other organisations.  

And here we've got a Royal College of Nursing - their Twitter site. So what they are doing, if you studied nursing, for example, you will find the latest information here. At the moment, a lot of it is about coronavirus, as you can imagine, and some advice.  

But not only. There are some other items as well, like training courses, events, et cetera. And there are also links to similar Twitter sites, such as the NMC, WeNurses.  

So I would say have a look in your professional area on Twitter what you can find. And it's a really nice way of keeping up to date with the latest information in your field. And also, you get an idea of what events there are which you might want to attend. Many of them can be online as well, which, of course, at the moment will be very topical, because we can't go everywhere right now, so it's worthwhile checking.  

And then you can also engage with people who are fellow professionals or other students going into this profession. And you get some more information there. So Twitter offers quite a lot, and a lot of it is actually links which are being shared, for example articles or other information resources.  

OK. So much about Twitter at the moment. Now LinkedIn. LinkedIn, some of you have said you are using that as your preferred platform. That is very good to know.  

So it's really useful to keep your profile up to date. You can create that fairly quickly, list your skills, list your knowledge, and also list your interests, and what you have previously done employment wise as well. So very often employers will actually look at your LinkedIn profile.  

It is recommended you create one whilst you are still a student and then basically build it up. That's a good idea. You can also be headhunted via LinkedIn. So if an employer thinks your profile might be right for the company, you might not actually have applied at this company, but they might just want to approach you. That has happened before as well.  

And now we come to something which we also need to bear in mind, which is the misuse of social media in a professional context because there are a few things to pay attention to, some general don'ts. So what you don't want to do really is to go into really negative comments about your job.  

And I don't mean like, oh, it's been a long day at work. I mean really negative comments about the company you work for, about the colleagues and managers, about the customers and clients and contractors. Because it can be easily seen by other people who know others, et cetera. And we also don't know how open your account and your profile is. And also, it's just not something you would want to do anyway.  

And also breach of confidentiality. This is particularly prevalent for certain professions. So I used to and I still do engage quite a bit with nursing students. So if they, for example, reveal anything about their patients when they are on placement via social media, which has happened unfortunately, this is a no go area. So this really can't happen.  

And then, of course, something like criminal offences, defamation, threats, harassment, and hate crimes. Also, offensive content and evidence of other dismissible offences. So it should be straightforward really, but it's just really a reminder.  

Then, to come back to the social media pros. I've highlighted some of this when I talked about LinkedIn and Twitter already, and I've shown you Twitter. It is very easy to connect with like-minded people.  

It's a quick way of getting answers to questions and information. And it's also easier to talk with senior people you'd never speak to in real life, people you might learn a lot from. It's a great way of increasing the size of your professional network. It's also a way of finding out what best practise is in your field of study or care.  

OK. What do you need to be wary of again, as well, though, is that it is sometimes quite hard to keep your professional and personal life separate on social media. It is open to all. So normally, unless you've changed something on it, anyone can look at your Twitter profile or Google your name.  

And you've just seen what comes up. It was hopefully not too bad, but it is open. I could Google your name as well and just have a look at what comes up. So it is very easy for organisations and the media to search through your social media posts.  

And it can be hard to permanently delete social media posts as well. Screenshots are very easy to take and posts on social media often lack context. It's sometimes hard to get humour or tone of voice across on the sites, so it's hard to know how particular posts are actually meant. So all things to bear in mind.  

Right. So some tips for best usage now. We're coming to Facebook. Just doing that.  

So Facebook and Twitter are the most highly used, or some of the most highly used social media sites. Facebook is often used for sharing personal news and sharing photos and very often just for chatting with other. Twitter is the most well-known microblogging site, which only has 280 characters per Tweet, but can include, as I mentioned earlier, links and also videos and images.  

So you can get quite a lot of content into a Twitter post by using links. It's a very popular networking tool, and you also receive the latest news very quickly in that way.  

So with Facebook, just a few tips. Ideally, you don't want to actually share any personal details. And use the settings that determine who sees your posts. So you can, for example, set your timeline so that only friends can see it.  

Avoid making individual posts visible to friends of friends and the public. And also remember, anyone may see which pages you like, so take care. And if in doubt, unlike.  

And functionality and privacy settings often change, so I would check them regularly. And I'm just going to briefly share our OU Library Facebook page to show you how you can change the settings. One moment. OK. OK.  

So we're moving over to this one now. Let me just check whether it's come up. Yes. I think so. Yeah.  

So this is our Open University Library Facebook page. And very similar to our Twitter page, which I've already shown you. We are posting about eresources, about training sessions and other information.  

If you wanted to change settings, where you would go is usually - I'm going to the drop down arrow and then go into settings. And here, you can see you've got privacy. And that tells you how people can find and contact you to start with, but also your activity, who can see your posts.  

And you can also say that you want to review all your posts and things you're tagged in. That's a possibility you can do. And you can use the activity log, which shows you how your posts, basically, and what your profile looks like.  

And what you can use as well is the timeline and tagging, which is just underneath this. So, for example, who can post on your timeline. Yeah, I would restrict it to friends.  

Some people are-- here, you can actually click on edit and change it. Some people are very strict and they say 'only me', because they worry about what people might be posting on their timeline. And then who can see what others post on your timeline, and you will have as well options how to set this.  

I'm not reading everything out. Just a couple of things here. Who can see posts that you're tagged in on your timeline. It can just be friends.  

You can widen it, if you wanted to, to everyone, I wouldn't do this, or friends of friends even. Or you can even specify particular friends, which I've actually never done. But yeah. Or when you're tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience? You can say this as well.  

And what I find quite useful is the review panel. So on their own Facebook page, I would have to check whether it's still on, but I know that I set it to review posts that you are tagged in before the posts appear on your timeline. So that gives you a bit of control what is being posted on your timeline.  

So quite useful to review that on a regular basis. So I'm just going to stop sharing that now. OK.  

Oh, you have to go, Elizabeth. Yeah. All right. That's fine.  

That's fantastic. Thank you, Elizabeth. Yep. Bye for now.  

And you set your timeline and tag settings to only me. This way you can decide what yes, I think quite a few people are doing this. So you really have a lot more control yourself, definitely, which is great.  

So what I mean, I'm probably skipping the next slide for the moment, because I realise that we are almost running out of time. But if you want to do something later on, I can still let you do something at the end. I just want to give you a few more tips now.  

And some of your tips, the Twitter tips, for example, are that you kind of really want to consider your audience and your profile. And you might want to use one account for professional or academic use and another for informal and personal use. And you can also monitor your followers' list regularly.  

Are there some who you find-- I don't know. It's not just that their ideology is very different. You might-- it might be quite offensive what they are posting, so have a look.  

And it's always good to think before you tweet and remember that you can make your account private. It's very rarely done, but you can read more about how to do this if you follow that link about public and protected Tweets. I mean, the slides will be up. You can access the slides. You can also click into the link and investigate a bit further.  

So there is further help as well. So if you have questions about anything else which is information related, or even about your digital footprint, you have other questions as well, anything information related, really, remember the Library help desk is there for you. So we are available via web chat and email. Web chat is 24/7. We answer between 9:00 and 5:00.  

Currently because of the COVID-19 situation and us working at home, the phone is not an option. It is on the slide and it will be available again when we are back in the library, so that might take a few more weeks. So please for the moment use either the email or chat to us via web chat.  

And just to give you a little bit of a summary. But you should now be able to define what a digital footprint is. You have searched, for example, on Google for yourself and seen what has come up.  

You understand E-professionalism a little bit more. How, for example, Twitter can be harnessed and LinkedIn as well to create professional profiles and interact with other professionals and fellow students going into a particular field. You are now aware of the pros and cons of using social media, and hopefully can implement some tips of using social media as well.  

So have you got any more questions? I will take them in a second. I would also, though, want to say, if you please fill in that feedback form - it's a hyperlink - that will be really valuable, because this is the first time we are running this particular session.  

Well, it has been run before, but it hasn't actually been put up as a recording. So it is quite new to us yet, so it will be really useful for us to see whether these have been useful tips to actually working and interacting digitally for you. And that you are in for a chance to win a 20 pound Amazon voucher as well.  

Yeah. You're welcome, Evelyn. So have you got any questions? I will stop the recording at that stage. 

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