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Your digital footprint

As soon as you go online, you start creating a trail of information about yourself. 

Your digital footprint — especially what you say and do on social media — shapes what people will think of you, both now and in the future. Your kids might even look at it one day.

It can also affect what people think about your community too. That's why it's important to know what kind of trail you are leaving, and what the impact might be.

What is a digital footprint?

This clip explores what a digital footprint is within an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander context, and explains how to create a positive trail of information.


Let's go on a journey.

A long time ago in the Dreaming, stories were formed and told the old way, person to person.

These stories have left footprints for generations to follow.

These days, technology has changed the way we share and tell our stories.

[Reads title] Digital Footprint, Online Business is Everyone's Business.

As soon as we go online our digital footprint begins.

How we look after our digital footprint will impact on how our future generations will understand and see our culture.

What you text and post goes further than your own mob's Country.

So it's real important that we build a strong digital footprint by being deadly in everything we say and do online.

Texting and using social networking sites shapes how people see you now and into the future.

A bad digital footprint can damage friendships, break relationships, hurt job chances and bring shame to your mob.

It can lead to payback and violence between families and community.

All right you mob, I want you to go out there and be the best you can be. 

You’re in control of what you do online.

You kids are our future.

And I know you can do the right thing by looking after your mates, respecting our culture and being positive when you go online.

You want to build a strong digital footprint. 

Bring some pride to you and your mob by being respectful when you're online.

Remember online business is everyone's business.

What you post today can come right back to your mob like boomerang.

Under 25? Worried about your digital footprint?

You can make a free call to Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Video: Digital footprint

What you text or post online goes further than your own mob’s Country so be deadly with everything you say and do online.

When things go wrong

A bad digital footprint can:

  • damage friendships
  • break relationships
  • hurt job chances
  • bring shame to your community
  • lead to fights between families and community.

Check out what happens to Ryan when he posts a video having a good time with his mates.

Visual Audio

Laila films Ryan as he skateboards off a roof. Ryan lands on his stomach as the skateboard hits him in the head.

Ryan: [Laughs] Check this!

Laila: Oy! Go now, Ryan!

Ryan: Woah-ahh! [Splat]

Everyone: [Laughter]

Ryan: Oh! Ooh.

Ryan's follower: That was brutal!

Ryan is at work at the cinema. Laila films him mixing lots of ingredients, including vinegar and chillies, in a blender. He drinks the spicy mixture and then drinks straight from the slushy machine. 

Ryan: Eh, some of this. Yep. All right. 

[Blender whizzing]

Glug, glug, glug – bleeeeaaaahh!

Everyone: [Laughter]

Laila films as Ryan and his friends ride in shopping trolleys down a hill and crash into a tree. Aunty Em watches on. Laila then films Aunty Em yelling at them.

All: Whoa! Ah! [Splat]


Aunty Em: Serves you right if you break your bloody neck, you bunch of idiots! And don't you put me on the internet thingy. People might come and rob me!

Ryan: Don't worry, Aunty Em. You got nothing worth stealing.

Aunty Em: Ryan Stokes, don't you dare give me cheek! I wiped your bum when you were a baby!

All: [Laughter]

Ryan makes a video remix using the footage of him doing dumb stuff and Aunty Em yelling. He posts it online.

Ryan: OK. Here we go. [Plays video]

[Rap beat playing]

Aunty Em: [Singing] Internet thingy! Internet thingy! Wiped your bum on the internet thingy! Rob me! Rob me! Internet thingy! Don't put me on the internet thingy!

Ryan heads into his work at the cinema where his coworker Kira and manager Phillip are already working.

A fan outside the cinema: Awes vids dude!

Ryan: Ta bros.

Kira: Ryan, why'd you post that video everywhere? Phillip will see it for sure.

Ryan: [Laughs] Naw, he loves it. He'll piss himself laughing.

In Phillip's office.

Phillip: Hah. This is hilarious, bro! You're living dangerously making fun of Aunty Em, though.

Ryan: Just jokes, boss.

Phillip: But what's with you drinking out of the slushy machine without a cup? Hardly hygienic.

Ryan: Sorry. Didn't think.

Phillip: And wearing your work shirt when you're up to all that dumb stuff?

Ryan: Sorry, didn't...

Phillip: Think. Well, now you'll have plenty of time to think.

Ryan: Huh?

Phillip: I have to let you go, mate. Nothing personal. Keep the vids coming, though. They really do make me piss myself laughing.

Aunty Em sings.

Aunty Em: [Singing] Internet thingy! Internet thingy! Don't post dumb stuff on the internet thingy! Learn all about your security settings. They'll help you stay safe on the internet thingy.

For more information about protecting your digital footprint, visit the eSafety website:

Narrator: Think twice about who can see your dumb stuff. Once it's online, your business becomes everyone's business.

Video: Dumb stuff

Find out what happens to Ryan when he posts ‘dumb stuff’ on the internet and loses control of his posts. Warning: This video contains swearing.

How do I make a strong digital footprint?

You are in control of what you do online. Bring pride to what you say and do by being positive and respectful. It will help leave a stronger digital footprint. Remember, online business is everyone's business.

Worried about your digital footprint?

If you are under 25 you can have a web chat with Kids Helpline or make a free call to them on1800 55 1800.

You could also check out our page for young people about protecting your digital reputation.

Last updated: 18/04/2023