Staying safe online includes staying in control of who can see your personal information online, and who can not. Over time, the information you share becomes part of your digital reputation.
Sharing personal information online is fine if you can be sure that your information is only shared with people and organisations that you trust. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has some great tips on protecting your personal information and your digital reputation.
What is personal information?
Personal information is any information that could identify you, including:
- pictures of yourself
- your home, school or work address
- phone numbers
- email addresses
- your date of birth
- your username and password
This information might not seem like something you need to keep secret. Your friends would know what you look like and where you live. However, your personal information is also used to protect your email accounts or your banking details. When you create an online account you might be asked to come up with secret questions to unlock your account if you ever forget your password. You might be happy sharing your address with an online shopping site, but you might think twice about sharing your address with a stranger. Some smartphones and cameras link all photos taken with location data by default. You can find more information about photos and GPS on the eSafety Commissioner’s website.
Learn more about protecting your personal information from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.
What is digital reputation?
Everyone wants to show themselves in the best light on social media. Your digital reputation is what other people think of you, based on what you say and post online. Controlling your digital reputation means choosing how much you share online, and with which groups of people.
The Office of the eSafety Commission has a guide to digital reputation and teaching resources for discussing digital reputation with your students.