What is a digital footprint?
A digital footprint refers to the trail of data or information that is left behind by a person’s online activity. This includes any online interactions, such as social media posts, comments, likes, shares, or searches, as well as any personal information shared online, such as name, email address, or phone number.
Digital footprints are created both intentionally and unintentionally, and they can have both positive and negative effects. For example, a positive digital footprint could include a strong professional profile on LinkedIn or positive reviews of a product or service. A negative digital footprint could include embarrassing social media posts or comments, or online activity that could be harmful to one’s reputation or personal safety.
It’s also essential to note that major technology companies use techniques such as device fingerprinting to tie your identity to your browsing activity.
Any person who uses the internet will have an online footprint. It is accessible to employers, universities, and colleges. Your digital footprint could impact your future acceptances into various institutions.
It is also possible that cybercriminals can get a hold of your digital footprint and use it to create false accounts in your name or steal your identity, leading to further identity fraud.
Active vs. Passive digital footprints
An active digital footprint refers to the digital data or information that an individual intentionally creates and shares online. It includes all the content that a person actively posts, such as social media updates, blog articles, videos, photos, comments, and any other information they choose to publish online.
An active digital footprint is what a person voluntarily puts out there and can reflect their interests, values, and beliefs. It can also be used to build a personal or professional brand or promote a business or product.
Managing an active digital footprint is important because it can have an impact on how others perceive and interact with a person or organization. A well-crafted and curated digital footprint can help to build a positive reputation, whereas an unprofessional or negative digital footprint can harm one’s reputation or even future career prospects.
With information from both your active and passive digital footprints, cybercriminals can quickly identify you, manipulate your information and put your data at risk.
How do I protect myself?
Avoid unsafe and untrustworthy websites. There are many ways to protect yourself and your footprint from being shared with cybercriminals. This can protect you from volunteering information to a site selling your data on the dark web.
- Don’t input your personal information when you are on public wifi. This leaves your information.
- Utilize a VPN. This way, your data is always protected because your IP address is untraceable
Installing cybersecurity software is the only way to keep your information safe. Agency is enterprise-grade antivirus software that will safeguard your digital footprint. Your digital footprint will be secure with 24/7 security monitoring and a security VPN. By being aware of your digital footprint, you can take steps to manage and protect your online identity and privacy.