There’s no getting around it, we live in a digital age. From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, our lives are interconnected with technology. We rely on it for just about everything – from checking the weather and traffic conditions before leaving for work or school, to shopping for groceries and clothes online, to catching up with friends and family via social media. As such, it’s important that we understand the implications of living our lives in a digital world, especially when it comes to our personal information and privacy.
What are Digital Footprints?
At its core, a digital footprint is the breadcrumb trail of data that we leave behind when we interact online. Every time you post something on social media, send an email, or shop online, you’re creating a digital footprint that can be tracked and traced by companies, organisations and governments. In more extreme cases, this information can even be used to create a profile of your behaviour and interests – known as “data mining”. For example, companies can use this information to target you with advertisements based on your online activities.
Why Does It Matter?
So why should we be concerned about our digital footprint? Well for starters, it could potentially have a negative impact on our ability to get jobs or even secure loans in the future. Employers use data mining techniques to vet potential candidates for positions based on their past behaviours or habits. Additionally, financial institutions and other loan providers may only approve you for a loan if your digital footprint is clean. For example, if you have a history of reckless spending or irresponsible borrowing, it could hurt your chances of being approved for a loan.
How To Manage Your Digital Footprint?
Luckily, there are steps that you can take to manage your digital footprint and protect your privacy online. The first step is to become aware of the information that you’re sharing – it’s important to be mindful of what you post on social media or write in emails in order to limit potential damage. Secondly, make sure that all of your accounts have secure passwords and two-factor authentication enabled as an extra layer of security. Also it doesn’t hurt if you know how to delete search history on Google, because that’s just as important. Finally, be diligent about Googling yourself periodically so that you can keep track of any changes or discrepancies in the content that appears when your name is searched.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that our digital footprints are oftentimes permanent and can be used in ways we may not have expected. That’s why it’s essential that we become aware of our digital footprints and take steps to protect ourselves online. By understanding how our information is collected, stored and shared, we can ensure that our personal data remains secure while still being able to enjoy the benefits of technology. So don’t forget – stay informed, stay vigilant and keep your digital footprint clean.