Mini challenge summary

Summary: Digital footprint audit.
30 – 45 minutes

Start here

web resources

Stimulus resources

Julia Angwin, author of “Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance” attempted to erase her digital footprint. Watch this short CBS This Morning interview with Julia:



The purpose of this mini challenge is to:

  • audit your own digital footprint to find out what exists on the internet about you
  • reflect on your findings and determine objectives for developing your online identity associated with your professional, formal or informal learning.


  1. Conduct a Google search of your own name (using an incognito or private window in Chrome or Firefox). Search for your first name and surname without parenthesis (for example: snow white) and then with parenthesis (for example: “snow white”). Explore the results of your search.
  2. Conduct a Google search of your name with the name of current and previous employers.
  3. Conduct a Google search of your name with the name of previous schools you attended.
  4. Expand your search to include social media sites, for example: “snow white” twitter; “snow white” facebook; “snow white” youtube etc.
  5. Note any interesting or surprising findings.


The learning outcome for this micro course is to develop a positive digital online identity in support of learning
commensurate with good practice for privacy, security and interpersonal communications.

  1. Prepare and publish a short blog post of about 250 to 300 words focusing on your micro course related objectives, that is what you hope to achieve with your online digital identity for learning. Your post can include:
    • Optional reflection: You may want to include a reflection(s) on the outcomes of your footprint audit. Remember that your blog post is public, so only share what you are comfortable sharing with the world. You don’t need to be specific; for example, you can generalise: I am satisfied with my digital footprint because … or I would like to improve my digital footprint for learning because …
    • Professional versus private: Consider how you want to separate your “private” online identity from your professional and / or learning identity. If you already maintain an online presence (existing blog, twitter and/or facebook accounts) think about how you will separate professional / learning posts from private and social life interactions online. For example, maintaining a separate course or learning blog is one way to achieve this distinction. Will you link your personal online identities ( existing Twitter username or Facebook account) with your learning blog? Will you link your professional online identity (e.g. published online biography on your employer’s web site) with your learning blog?
    • Objectives: List a few objectives for developing or improving your online identity.
  2. Remember to add a category or tag to your post using the course tag: LiDA102 (This is needed to harvest links to posts from registered course blogs for the course feed.)

Remember: You are in charge of what you post online and deciding what you would like to share for your digital identity for the purposes of this course. Don’t share high risk personal details like physical address, date of birth, name of first pet etc., which may make it easier for identity thieves to appear more credible. If unsure, consult online resources for internet safety; for example Netsafe New Zealand.