Every single moment you spend online, whether you are scrolling down your social media feed or searching through something you leave footprints. think of online platforms as deserts, every step you take leaves a print.
What is Digital Footprint?
Remember Hansel and Gretel? How they left breadcrumbs after them to find their way back home. Well, you can consider every visit you make on the internet as leaving digital breadcrumbs behind you. The only difference here is in real life breadcrumbs or footprints on sand will fade away; that is not the case with the digital world. Whatever you publish or post from photos to comments, none will be lost.
Now, what would your footprints say about you? Just looking at your footprints we can see where you have visited, what kind of a taste you have and what you do on your free time. Just the same, looking at your digital footprints the internet sketches out what kind of a person you are. What are your likes, your interests, your preferences and many more. Now you may think what good would this do to the internet but this is data advertisers, brand owners and even job recruiters look for.
How does it work and what is it used for?
Well, experts break down the data collected from you into two; passive and active data traces. Active data traces are the ones you leave on platforms intentionally. This can be sharing photos, filling out forms, purchasing, sharing blog posts etc. Whereas passive data traces are the leftover ones like visiting sites etc. So, our advice to you as Gurudesk is to be careful while surfing on the internet because every click you perform gives you an identity in the online world.
Our tips on managing your digital footprints
We have gathered some tips and tricks for you to manage your digital footprints;
- Google yourself: Search for your name every few months, so you’re aware of the information others have access to about you.
- Set up Google alerts: Setting up an alert for your name on Google is another way for you to keep track of yourself online. This tool will send you occasional alerts of every post that has your name on it.
- Protect your personal data: Don’t use your personal address, phone number, passwords or bank card numbers openly. Use a nickname instead of your real name.
- Keep login info under lock and key:Never share any of your usernames or passwords with anyone.
- Think before you post:Never put a temporary emotion on the internet. Emotions are temporary; online lasts forever. Take a breath before you post: Think twice, post once.
- Be careful with the pics: Any photo you post could be dug up some day. Limit your sharing of questionable images.