Understanding the importance of your digital footprint

A digital footprint is the assortment of all the traces one leaves in electronic conditions. Whether your posts, tweets, or messages were deliberate or not, they are permanent. Therefore, understanding the importance of your digital footprint is crucial for you and your future.

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A digital footprint is the assortment of all the traces one leaves in electronic conditions. Whether your posts, tweets, or messages were deliberate or not, they are permanent. Therefore, understanding the importance of your digital footprint is crucial for you and your future.

By: Jackie Poznanski, Editor

A digital footprint is the assortment of all the traces one leaves in electronic conditions. Whether your posts, tweets, or messages were deliberate or not, they’re permanent. Therefore, understanding the importance of your digital footprint is crucial for you and your future.

Different Types of Digital Footprints

There are six distinct types of digital footprints. A passive footprint is a trace of hobbies that are cultivated through the user’s searches. For example, if someone provides a website with information about their preferences, this is a passive footprint. An active footprint is information that the user chooses to share over the Internet. For example, this can be anything from blog posts to Instagram posts, to Snapchats. A personally identifiable footprint is the information that can trace to your real name.

An anonymous footprint generated through anonymous comments and using a pseudonym as a name. A user input footprint is data that results from user input such as messages sent from a device. Lastly, the sensor data footprint is the data that is created by “sensors” or cameras/microphones. A mobile device catches information in public places and private residences and generates a specific digital footprint.

Facts you Need to Know

Every time someone searches and interacts with others online, a trail of info is left behind. Elements of your digital footprint have endless searches and shares. Digital footprints can either hurt or help your future based on how they use their technology. Once online, posts and comments exist forever even if you presses “delete.” Therefore, you should always think before you post something on the Internet. Lastly, keep personal details private and control the privacy settings on your accounts.

Pew Research Center states, “Just 3% of the self-searchers report that they make a regular habit of it and 22% say they search using their name “every once in a while.” Three-quarters of self-searchers (74%) have checked up on their digital footprints only once or twice.”

How to Manage  your Digital Footprint

There are many ways to manage your digital footprint other than completely eliminating yourself from social media. Beware of what you’re posting and reposting. Today, social media has become a huge outlet for those who want to express their feeling and emotions regarding of the world and societal change. Although this can seem beneficial, reposting something controversial will be frowned upon. Therefore, looking into the meaning and alternative outlooks on a post can be helpful in keeping your digital footprint clean and straightforward.  Whether your posts, tweets, or messages were deliberate or not, they’re permanent. Therefore, understanding the importance of your digital footprint is crucial for you and your future.

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