In the Digital Age we live in, it’s important to consider the impact your digital life has on you and the world around you. I became interested in this when I realized that everything I do on the Internet could stay there forever. People could potentially find everything from my old Neopets account to embarrassing pictures of me from high school posted to Facebook to passwords in a data dump after a major breach. Your privacy is important, and the Internet is a wild place where repeating a password or using sketchy software might cause a ton of stress. On the other hand, the rise of the Internet means we have way more access to information than we ever did before. Considering everyone reading this has access to the internet, I’d like to introduce you to Digital Tattoo.
The Digital Tattoo project is a project intended to make you critically think about your online presence and the rights and responsibilities you have as a user of the Internet. It’s a collaboration between The UBC Library, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and Inforum Library. The content on the site is developed by students like you and continually evolving to address new factors of online life as they appear.
A great and insightful post to start off with is their FOI 101 article, which guides readers through the basics of filing Freedom of Information (FOI) and Access to Information (ATI) requests, which can be used to get information from government institutions that don’t want to give it out readily. If you’ve ever had questions about a public body that they’ve refused to answer, or if you want to know what data is being collected about you, this is a great resource to have on hand. It can aid you with anything from quenching your curiosity to writing investigative articles. Other great posts include what to do when you lose your wallet, a tragic thing that could happen to anyone, and making the switch to open source software, which one might choose to do for financial or ethical reasons.
Digital Tattoo is full of interesting reads related to your privacy and security, encouraging readers to be more conscious of the way they use the internet and the way they present themselves to the world through online avenues. Not only are the articles well written and engaging to read, but they’re full of information that we should be thinking about when it comes to our lives online – what kind of impression are we presenting to the world? What are the ramifications of using certain websites and programs? What can we do to make sure we have control over our digital lives?
Digital Tattoo is a great jumping off point to dive deeper into a topic that interests you, whether that be Freedom of Information, online misinformation, your online persona, or something else in that realm. For me, as a person that has always been interested in information security, the content on Digital Tattoo helps me understand what I should be considering when it comes to information security (aka infosec) as a student. Understanding infosec from a more specific university and provincial perspective helps narrow it down for me. As well, as a person who has been using social media platforms for over a decade, it helps me consider what and how I should lockdown my more private social media accounts and how to ensure some privacy on my more public ones.