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What is your digital footprint?

_RMHS Yr 7 Lifestyle 2023__Y2A6347-CR3_What is your digital footprint?

Your digital footprint is the continuous mark left behind every time you use the internet.

There are two types of footprints. ‘Active’ digital footprints are the results of your explicit behaviour, eg, you post something on Facebook, make a call through Teams or send an email from hotmail.

‘Passive’ digital footprints are electronic breadcrumbs that you do not intend on leaving. This can happen when your activity is tracked through cookies without your consent or your whereabouts are identified through geolocation services.

Every time you visit a website, send or receive a message or email, buy or book anything online, comment on or like a post, upload a status update or photo, find directions on your phone, stream music, make a video call, use a smart speaker such as Alexa or play online games, it all adds to your digital footprint, whether you intend it to or not.

Others can contribute to your digital footprint too. Your friends, family, school peers, as well as the clubs and societies you are a member of can also add to it every time they mention or tag you online.

Why is it important to protect your digital footprint?

Your digital footprint can shape your online reputation. Whilst there are a lot of positive elements to using the internet, there can be some more serious outcomes too.

It is commonplace nowadays that prospective schools, universities and employers look at a candidate’s online presence to get a better idea of who they really are. You don’t want to miss out on a university place or job interview because of something you posted online three years ago.

There is also the danger of being scammed or becoming a victim of fraud through inadvertently sharing some confidential details online or perhaps somebody has sold your personal information to a third party.

For our top tips on how to protect your digital footprint please click HERE.

Date Posted: 2 January, 2024

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