What is a digital footprint, and why is it important to you?

 What is a digital footprint, and why is it important to you?

Think of the internet as a library full of millions of books and other information. When you enter a library to check out a book or find other information, you leave a lot of information about yourself. For example, when you first go to the library, you fill in your name, phone number, email and other details to inform that you have entered the library. Then you start looking for the book you like and take out the required book from the rack. Then read those books in turn.

While reading the book, you may have noted important things in the diary. Then you leave the library. By now you've left most of your data inside the library.

With the name, email and phone number you give, what kind of book do you like to read, how do you read the page of the book, what important things do you write down in your diary, what kind of information is on your face when you get it, what kind of expression you had on your face before reading the book and on your face after reading the book. You leave it in the library without knowing how it felt.

The library can use this data to advertise the books you need. Or, it can increase the price of the book you need. For this, the library must be very sophisticated. Today's Internet has become such a sophisticated library. What kind of books you like, what your habits are, what you need, everything is stored in the data library. Yes, this data is called digital footprints in the language of the Internet.

When we search for something like a photo or other information online, we leave "digital footprints". This digital footprint is a way that traces everything you have done on the Internet. These footprints are now widely dispersed as the amount of information we seek increases. And most of us don't even care how much information is stored in that digital footprint.

Such a digital footprint is very useful for various groups such as the police, companies that sell various content, and people who tend to harass other users on the Internet. They use that digital footprint to learn about us, where we've shopped online, and what personal activities we've done. But don't be afraid.

You can keep such personal information private if you wish. You should try to minimize your digital footprint on the Internet as much as possible. By doing this, your activities on the Internet are kept private. So what are digital footprints? How can we protect our privacy on the Internet? Today we are discussing this topic.

What is digital footprint?

The trail or path of data created when using the Internet is generally called a digital footprint. Every social media post, message sent, and website visited leaves a digital record of us. These records, which are lost in various mediums, are contributing to the digital footprint. According to Make Use Of, a person creates about 1.7 megabytes of data every second just by doing regular tasks online.

Digital footprints generally come in two forms, active footprints and passive footprints. Active Footprints (Active Footprints) are data stored when people fill out online forms, information that is there when posting on social networks. On the other hand, passive or passive footprints are data that are stored without a person's knowledge, such as information about visited websites, how the website is being used, etc.

Since there are digital footprints in different places, it stores various information. From the location of the user, his shopping habits, information about the videos he watches, at what time, what video he watched and for how long, all the information comes in digital footprints.

How are digital footprints being used?

It doesn't matter that digital footprints are a very valuable asset these days. Various brands and ecommerce stores also collect digital footprints to prepare in-depth profiles of their customers. Then they use the same footprints to promote their products or services to the target audience for marketing campaigns. Due to this, the advertisement of the company has a good effect.

Digital footprint is also considered very important for law enforcement agencies and other legal entities. Records of how people use the Internet can help prove whether they are innocent or guilty.

Employers are also using digital footprints. A study conducted by a company called Career Arc has shown that 92 percent of employers or companies recruit employees on the basis of social media. A person's online activity shows whether they are a good fit for that company or not. Therefore, digital footprint is an important tool for recruiting employees.

These companies, brands and various Although legal entities use digital footprints for good work, cybercriminals are misusing these data. Cybercriminals can pretend to be you on the Internet and misuse your identity.

Cybercriminals are using digital footprints especially to harm others or to gain financial benefits. Some may use such data to launch phishing attacks by pretending anything is official.

Digital Footprints: How Can Privacy Be Improved?

As much as we can explain about ourselves to others, the digital footprint tells about us many times more effectively than that. Therefore, due to cyber security and general privacy, such data should be minimized as much as possible.

So what can you do to keep your digital footprints private? The first thing to do is find out how much of your information is being leaked. For that, even if you search your name on Google, it is clear how much of your information has come out. You can also set yourself to receive an alert if someone searches for your name on Google.

Another thing is to adjust the privacy settings on the social network account. In particular, set the option of who will see the posts, information or other updates you put on those mediums. The thing to be careful about here is that you should not share too much personal information on social media accounts.

For example, suppose you get a driver's license. And happily shared the photo of the letter on Facebook. You have made the privacy setting Only Friend. However, the hacker may be connected to you as someone else. Or he may be hacking your friend's account and tracking your activities. In that case, he takes all the information of the driver's license that you keep and can use it as he wants.

Therefore, use a strong password to avoid theft of digital footprints while using the web. Delete posts from Facebook or other social networks that you rarely use or that you don't find useful.

Minimize footprints

Digital footprints are very useful both professionally and legally. However, its risks are also the same. How much a stranger can learn about you from your digital footprints matters. The more you know, the more you gain.

You can reduce your digital footprint by being careful when using the Internet, by visiting useful and reliable webpages, and by keeping as few information or posts related to your personal life as possible.