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Can You Ever Have A Handle On Your Digital Footprint While Still Using The Internet?

Digital Footprint

It wasn’t so long ago that the internet was a fun distraction that people used to entertain themselves. Now, things couldn’t be more different. The world relies on the internet, with businesses and individuals alike dependent on it for a huge range of different things.

However, for all the benefits the internet offers us, it does come with some risks. It has eroded personal privacy, now our lives are broadcast for all to see. While stopping yourself from appearing on Google is possible, can you really take control of your digital footprint while still making best use of the internet? Find out here.

What is a Digital Footprint?

Whenever we do anything online, such as visiting websites, watching videos, shopping, or interacting with social media, we leave a trace behind. Some of these traces are obvious, such as the likes and comments we leave on posts, while others are more subtle, like tracking information that can be used to record our movements.

This distinction allows us to categorise digital footprints into two broad groups: active and passive. Active digital footprints include the content we post and the things we engage with, while passive digital footprints are things like the logging of our IP addresses.

Why are Digital Footprints Important?

Privacy Internet Security You might think to yourself – so what? Who cares what kind of trace you leave behind online? By and large, digital footprints are harmless. In fact, they can actually make our internet experience better. They can be used by companies and platforms to personalise the content we see and ensure it is relevant.

However, digital footprints can pose a threat. It can be easy to post things online without thinking. You might post information that can be used to easily identify you, or sensitive data that could be used to hack into your social media, ecommerce, or banking accounts.

It’s also important to remember that digital footprints are essentially permanent, a particularly crucial point for younger generations. Who hasn’t said something foolish in their younger years? For the older among us, thankfully our past transgressions will likely be lost in time. For younger people, however, everything embarrassing they have done will be immortalized online and forever associated with their name.

Say you are applying for a new job. One of the first things prospective employers do is to Google the names of candidates and check their social media profiles. Anything deemed to be offensive or inappropriate could harm your chances of landing the job.

Can You Control Your Digital Footprint?

Never assume that your digital footprint is harmless or inconsequential. It can have a serious effect on your life and impact on a range of different things. The most effective approach to managing your digital footprint is to carefully consider everything you post online. Ensure you post no personal or sensitive information, and never post anything that could be construed as offensive.

There are ways of removing yourself from Google search results, but removing yourself from host websites is more difficult. The key is to limit what you post in the first place and ensure your digital footprint is never a detriment to your future.