Why is it so important to understand the concept of digital identities and digital security? Pernille Tranberg (2013) discusses in a TED talk having three online identities, a real account for professional use, a fake account for personal use and a second fake account for website/app subscriptions. As teaching is a public career teachers must be concerned about their digital identities, what personal information is freely available online to students, parents, colleagues or future employers? Separating accounts allows teachers the ability to create a professional identity for networking that is accessible to those mentioned above whilst still allowing the freedom of a more sociable identity for family and friends (University of British Columbia, n.d.).
Students may not fully understand the consequences of online activity nor have the maturity to manage their digital identity (McTaggart, 2015). Describing a digital identity to students as a digital tattoo may help emphasise the permanence of all online activity, even if content is presumed deleted (McTaggart, 2015). Educating students early on about digital identities is vital as the building of this identity often begins before birth through the digital identity of parents. Students need to be encouraged and provided with the skills to build a positive digital identity that will continue to grow and support them throughout life’s stages (McTaggart, 2015).
A teacher that keeps up to date with the digital world and understands and practices digital security can set an example and educate students on cyber safety (Smith, n.d.). Cyber safety is a growing issue in schools and teachers are expected to be involved in educating students on how to stay safe online and use digital technologies appropriately (Smith, n.d.). Issues surrounding students today include cyberbullying, inappropriate or anonymous content sharing, online grooming, hackers, scams and inappropriate use of technology (Smith, n.d.). Students need to be educated about privacy/security settings, controlling social media accounts, digital identities, consequences of inappropriate content sharing, preventing and reporting cyberbullying, password security, dangers of talking to or meeting with strangers, downloading safe apps and games, accessing safe websites, providing personal information, safe gaming and appropriate use of technologies especially on school grounds (Smith, n.d.).
McTaggart, R. (2015). The digital tattoo: think before you ink. Retrieved from https://www.educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/03/the-digital-tattoo-think-before-you-ink/
Smith, L. (n.d.). Cyber safety education is the key for keeping students safe online. Retrieved from http://educationmattersmag.com.au/cyber-safety-education-key-keeping-students-safe-online/
Tranberg, P. (2013, April 10). Fake It – to control your digital identity . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRrgD-4-D8s
University of British Columbia. (n.d.). Managing your online profile. Retrieved from https://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/work/etiquette/#