Clued up! Online skills for the 21st Century student

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homeline
digital icon   Your Digital Identity

Find yourself Online
Smarten up your Digital Profile
Be Digitally Literate
Stay Safe Online

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digital icon   Digital Study Skills

Manage your studies online
Smarter Searching
Make Referencing easy
Build your Learning Network

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digital icon   Other Links

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Using this site

The middle section of each page introduces the topic and contains videos and slideshows, both from our students here at London Met and from around the web, designed to get you thinking...

In the right-hand column you'll find Practical Steps you can take and further reading and advice which you might find useful in Read more about it.

Learn more:
The eight links above cover all the aspects of this website. Please bookmark and revisit the site, as we are constantly adding new materials and information.

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What does your online profile say about you?

So many aspects of our lives seem to be lived online these days, whether we’re browsing on our mobile on the bus, sitting at a library computer, on our laptops… it’s hard to imagine how we ever lived without the internet.

But how often do you think about what you actually do online, how you represent yourself and how you appear to other people who might search for you? In this digital age our online identity is becoming increasingly important as employers, potential partners, creditors and almost anyone with an interest in you can easily look you up on the web. Do you know what they would find if they searched for you on Google? Are there things that you’ve said or pictures you’ve posted in the past which might come back to haunt you one day?

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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London Met Students talk about the amount of time they spend online and what they'd find if they googled themselves.

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Google Yourself

A good way to start thinking about your digital self is to do a Google search of your name. If you think about it, if anybody wants to search for you online, they are most likely to start by googling you. It's also worth checking out results from other search engines now and again.

There are some sites which claim to find relevant information about people, e.g. Pipl.com or Peekyou.com and many more, but the results from these can be very patchy or irrelevant. By all means try them, but don't expect too much!

It's also important to take care of your privacy settings on any social media sites you use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. Be aware of what you post online and who else can see it. Don't give yourself a nasty surprise!

This video, created by Flea Palmer at Plymouth University, shows some of the consequences of careless use of social media. This might not be you, but it's still worth thinking about what you put online and how it might reflect on you later down the line.

TIP   Try searching for yourself on Google Images as well as a normal web search.

They shared but did they take care? To find out how easy it is for somebody to find out about you online, watch this short video from BBC Webwise.

Practical Steps you can take

· Find out what you can about your own online profile. Google yourself, use other search engines and services.

· Check privacy settings on social networks to control what people are able to see about you.

· Try to create a positive impression for future employers by creating a profile on LinkedIn. One big advantage of Linked In is that as such a popular site it will appear very high up on any search, often first or second result so people are more likely to see it.

· Make sure you regularly check your online profile. If you have a name that is very common and shared by lots of other people, why not use a middle initial to differentiate yourself from other people with the same name?

· One reason to focus on creating a positive online profile is that it is very hard to remove anything which has already appeared about you online. Wired magazine has some tips in Un-google Yourself.

TIP   Ask close friends to Google you to see if they get the same results. Google can return different results depending on who is searching!

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Read more about it

Read this article from the Huffington Post about why managing your online profile is important. This piece from the Guardian newspaper also has some good advice.

A guide from Time magazine to help you manage your Facebook privacy settings. There's also some very good advice from tech site Mashable on how to lock down your privacy settings on FB.

The University of Reading ran an innovative project called This is Me about Digital Identity. You can read some student stories about Digital Identity here.

This activity from the Open University Being Digital site has some good tips and might make you think a bit.

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TIP   Facebook frequently changes its privacy settings, so it's worth checking yours regularly and when you look for advice on how to manage them, make sure you search for the most recent information.

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