BY KOSHA :-
A digital footprint is a path of information you make while utilizing the Internet. It incorporates the sites you visit, messages you send, and data you submit to online administrations.
A “passive footprint” is an information trail you inadvertently leave on the web. For instance, when you visit a site, the web server may log your IP address, which recognizes your Internet specialist co-op and your rough area. While your IP address may change and does exclude any close to home data, it is as yet thought about piece of your advanced impression. A progressively close to home part of your inactive computerized impression is your pursuit history, which is spared by some web indexes while you are signed in.
Here are three examples of passive digital footprints.
- Websites that install cookies in your device without disclosing it to you
- Apps and websites that use geolocation to pinpoint your location
- Social media news channels and advertisers that use your likes, shares, and comments to profile you and to serve up advertisements based on your interests
An “active footprint” incorporates information that you purposefully submit on the web. Sending an email adds to your dynamic computerized impression, since you expect the information be seen or potentially spared by someone else. The more email you send, the more your advanced impression develops. Since the vast majority spare their email on the web, the messages you send can without much of a stretch stay online for quite a long while or more. Here are a few examples of active digital footprints.
- Posting on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other social media platforms
- Filling out online forms, such as when signing up to receive emails or texts
- Agreeing to install cookies on your devices when prompted by the browser
What your digital footprint can say about you
It’s a good idea to have a positive digital footprint. This information is your digital identity, and it could show up when someone searches for your name online.
Your online identity can influence different aspects of your life. For example, employers, schools, colleges, and law enforcement officials could use your digital footprint as a basis for character assessment.
6 steps for protecting your digital footprint
- Enter your name into several search engines.
Use multiple search engines to perform a search for your first and last name. If you’ve recently changed your name, look up both your prior name and your current one. Try the common misspellings as well.
Setting up Google Alerts is one way to keep an eye on your name. Every time it is mentioned somewhere you will get a notification. If you have a common name, it may help to attach keywords to your search, such as your location or activities that may associate your name with a Google alert.
Real estate websites and whitepages.com may have more information about you than you might want disclosed. Personal information like your phone number, address, and age tend to show up. Get in touch with the websites and have that information removed.
- Double-check your privacy settings, but don’t trust them.
Privacy settings on social media allow you to control who sees your posts on your social media streams. Spend some time getting to know these settings so you can use them fully.
- Create strong, memorable passwords.
Any time you need a password, create one that uses a combination of at least ten numbers, symbols, and upper- and lowercase letters. Avoid using common words, as password cracking tools can use every word in the dictionary to try to access your password. Make it a password that’s easy for you to remember, but that would be hard for someone else to guess. Avoid the most popular choices, like birthdates and anniversaries, or the names of your spouse, children, or pets.
- Keep all your software up to date.
Many viruses and malware programs are specifically designed to mine your digital footprint, and they are constantly being updated. To help protect yourself, make sure that your antivirus software and your other software programs are up to date. Older software can be more vulnerable to attack by hackers.
Outdated software could house a wealth of digital footprints. Without the latest updates, cybercriminals could gain access to this information.
- Review your mobile use. If you don’t need it, delete it.
Set a password or lock pattern on your mobile device. That way, your device can’t be accessed by other people if you accidentally lose or misplace it. From time to time, review the apps on your phone or tablet. What are their privacy or information-sharing settings? If you don’t use an app anymore, delete it.
When installing an app, read the fine print. Many apps disclose what kind of information they collect and what it may be used for. Personal information like your email, location, and online activities may be mined by these apps.
- Build your reputation through your behavior.
Contribute to your positive, professional digital footprint by posting only those things that contribute to the image of you that you want your bosses, banks, or professors to see. Skip the negative tweets, un-tag yourself from questionable Facebook photos, and keep critical comments to yourself. Instead, consider building a positive reputation by starting a blog or website that showcases your work or a hobby you’re passionate about.