Free Digital Footprint course to help internet users manage online identity

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A course helping internet users to develop the skills to better manage their online identity has been created by university experts.

The free online University of Edinburgh course will give participants the opportunity to find out how to shape the digital footprint that they create through social media, image sharing and web browsing.

Course organisers say a well-managed online identity can result in job opportunities and social connections

Course organisers say a well-managed online identity can result in job opportunities and social connections

They can also learn how to handle content posted online by other people.

Course organisers say a well-managed online identity can result in job opportunities and social connections, but a poor one can cause real reputational damage.

The course will enable participants to take responsibility for overseeing personal data on the internet.

Called Digital Footprint, it provides advice on removing unwanted information from the web, and encourages reflection on privacy and social media use.

Learners will also find out how to transform their digital footprint into a positive online identity for professional networking.

Course designer Nicola Osborne said: "In today's world it is important to consider our online identity.

"People should ask themselves what would come up if a future employer searched for them online.

"Social media is embedded in most of our lives and we hope the course will enable participants to get the best out of these brilliant digital tools."

The new Massive Open-access Online Course - or MOOC - has been developed at the University's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and EDINA.

It will be available from May 1.

The MOOC is available via coursera at www.coursera.org/learn/digital-footprint/

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