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Digital identity and wellbeing
Actively managing your digital identity and reputation, and caring for your digital wellbeing, is a crucial and encompassing element for you to fulfil your potential in today's digital society.
‘Choose your path’ to digital literacy with the interactive modules below, or scroll further down this page to read more information about this topic.
(5-10 min to complete)
(5-10 min to complete)
Your digital footprint
You may have heard of the idea of a digital footprint (opens in a new window). This refers to the traces of your personal and professional information that are left in online networks - both intentionally and unintentionally.
Sometimes, you might hear advice about not posting anything that you don't want your Mum and Dad to see. That makes sense, but also, think about what you would like future generations to see.
Posting material online effectively means you are letting go of control over it (have you heard of the term: going viral (opens in a new window)?), so you want to be sure it will not damage your reputation or credibility. Even if you later choose to delete, there is no guarantee that someone hasn't already copied or shared it without your knowledge. Unfortunately, there are people who enjoy bullying others in digital spaces, or who will take advantage of you if given the opportunity. Report cyberbullying immediately, whether you are the victim or a bystander.
- The 3 Rs of Digital Citizenship – Being Responsible, Respectful and Reputable (opens in a new window) (Be social.Be smart blog)
- Cyberbullying fact sheet (opens in a new window) (Australian Human Rights Commission)
In order to protect your wellbeing, it's also important to protect your privacy. This is not only about what you choose to share, but also relates to the information that is collected about you in relation to your online interactions, whether these are financial, social, professional, medical or legal. This series of tutorials by the Internet Society (opens in a new window) provides more information about minimising your digital footprint.
Keeping your devices, access passwords, and personal details secure is paramount, as is learning to spot probable identity theft and financial scams:
Coping with information overload
The digital, connected, always 'on' society is fascinating and full of opportunities for collaboration and learning. However, it can also be overwhelming. Do you ever feel as though you're drowning in information? One way to combat this is to sharpen your critical thinking skills so that you can quickly evaluate what's in front of you. The Information, data and media literacies section of this site has more detail about this.
Another skill for coping with the huge amount of information that lands in front of us each day is to actively manage it.
- Think carefully before subscribing to email lists (often you need to uncheck the box on online forms so that you are not automatically subscribed to updates).
- Create a digital filing system (in your email and for your documents) that works for you, so that you can save and retrieve information you need or want, and delete the rest.
- Take advantage of software that helps you manage information for assignments (like RefWorks (opens in a new window), EndNote (opens in a new window), or Zotero (opens in a new window)), and find out which note-taking (opens in a new window), time management, or file storage technologies suit your study habits.
- The Personal Digital Archive Toolkit (opens in a new window) provides steps to preserve your digital photographs, emails, recordings and documents.
Finding a balance
Maintaining a balance between real world and digital interactions is also crucial for mental and physical wellbeing. Keep it real, and unplug (opens in a new window) every so often!
- This blog post about National Day of Unplugging (opens in a new window) (Be social.Be smart blog) has some great tips about 'unplugged' activities.
This article on the ABC Health & Wellbeing website highlights the importance of controlling the amount of time you spend checking your phone: Digital detoxing in the real world: How to get started (opens in a new window).