If you're active online, you leave a digital footprint. Every comment made, every news article shared, and every purchase made online contributes to a person's digital footprint. Your data trail shows a detailed picture of who you are and what you like. This data is valuable and often monetized by 'free' services and apps like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. When you're logged in, you're being tracked across every page you visit.
There are some benefits of your data trail. For example, when sites know what you like, you see more relevant ads for products and services that appeal to you. Allowing cookies from websites, they remember what you've seen or clicked on and can make your visit faster.
Elements of your digital footprints can be searched or shared by others. And something that you thought you were sending as a private message can easily be shared with a larger audience, which can be embarrassing or hurtful. As it is said ' once it's on the internet, it's there forever.
You visit a website and it collects information about you by installing cookies on your device. This information includes your IP address, your login details, and anything else about you that you reveal or gets posted about you.
Your digital footprint is your online reputation. It can be both helpful or harmful. What you say online can impact your everyday life in different ways. Employers, schools, and law enforcement could use your online activity on social media to make character assessments. So, it's important to keep your online identity positive.
Now that you're aware of some of the ways you're leaving a data trail online, the next step is to keep your reputation positive and your data secure.