In the computer world lies a different kind of ‘being’…its technology at its finest; so what is a digital footprint? It’s a trail that one leaves behind online. Everything we do online has a trail, whether you’re posting views or uploading photos through Facebook or other social media sites, not to mention shopping or sending emails, there’s a trail that never goes away. Many times we believe that if we just erase the comments made, or photos posted for all to see… it will simply disappear, but that’s not the case; it lurks within the internet’s hidden library forever and might pop up at any time; most likely when you don’t want it to. Every single day people use social media sites or other online formats, such as registration forms or data sites, collecting the information which reveals ones’ most inner thoughts, likes, habits, and other personal information…all about ‘you.’ Unfortunately in todays’ world there are those that lurk behind the screens waiting to see how much information they may gain about you, looking for that opportune moment in order to take advantage…like prey in the wild. The more they collect about you, the bigger the target you become; sad but true.
Basic information about ‘who’ you are at this very moment is being looked at through the eyes of those who may have an ulterior motive; not always for a positive purpose, but could also be a possible prospective employer. One should always be aware of the policies and settings on every site currently being used. It is a fact that those who responsibly use the internet, using appropriate behavior, are sometimes given more opportunities, especially when technology comes into play. Digital footprints are relatively permanent, leaving the owner (of such prints) little control as to ‘how’ they may be used by others. Simply put… this is a trail you leave unintentionally, of personal data, when visiting any website, which then collects your IP address, while identifying your approximate location and servers being used. Other contributing factors of creating a footprint are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, online sales and any blogs or emails. Once you’ve shared any digital data online, there’s absolutely no guarantee to remove any of it, so please keep this in mind. For those that would like more information on how to understand and manage your digital footprint…I will leave you with a current site I believe can help; http://www.internetsociety.org/your-digital-footprint/manage . Always be mindful when posting comments online, and remember to ‘pause and think’ before making permanent remarks or reviews on any site. One might think they deleted any wrongful comment or photo for that matter, but the truth remains… it’s still out there, somewhere. As a common society, we should all be more vigilant in keeping our personal lives confidential, while giving ‘less’ information for others to use against your will. Now with holidays around the corner, there’s an abundant of activity online, so you can bet there are lurkers hiding behind screens; like foxes in the pasture hunting for their next meal. Also, google your name occasionally, making sure what is out there is correct. If it is not, go to the site I listed here to take care of it. Always use an anti-virus program on your computers…and have safe surfing in the days to come.
Make your week count.