Your Digital Footprint, What is it and How do I Manage it?

What is Your Digital Footprint? | Blinkstream Web Design

Anyone who is active online to any degree has a digital footprint.


What is Your Digital Footprint?


Your Digital Footprint is the data produced from taking actions online. These actions encompass everything you do online. From your email activity, web searches either on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device to your social media activities. Collectively this makes up your digital footprint.


Your actions on the web include but are not limited to:


Web Searches

Your choices provide a data profile of preferences, demographics, location data, search data. This gives search engines, advertisers and other parties detailed data about you, your choices, your age, gender, where you live and how you live.


Social Media

Your searches, friends, likes, blocking of people, groups you are a part of, any activity within those groups, pages you follow and any activity on those pages gives a profile of you to the social media platforms


Shopping

Any website you buy from has more personal data about what you purchase, how much, how often and more details about where items are shipped to and any gifts you buy to send to friends and family.

*Amazon is the 2nd largest search engine next to Google. Amazon has even more data about your search purchase history, video data, books, and audio books. For those folks on Amazon Business details about your business and related purchase history.*


To get a sense of what this really means, let’s step through a familiar shopping workflow to get an idea of just how may actions are taken with a simple shopping transaction.

  1. You are on amazon getting some shopping done to save on physically running errands. It goes something like this:
    Perform a Google Search for some of the items and compare web results with Amazon. A few items are purchased separately and the rest on Amazon for convenience. (4)
  2. Log onto Amazon and check recently purchased items and add some to your cart. (2)
  3. You still need some Advantage II for the cats and treats for the Dog which are not n your list. So, you search again for those items but don’t see the exact type. (1)
  4. Perform a web search for the exact type of Advantage II for Snuggles the cat. Ah… found it on Google, share with a friend via email who was looking for the same thing. Go back to Amazon and search for the exact brand, we had the name wrong. A slew of results come up, we save some to our favorites and add the one we are looking for to the Amazon cart. (5)
  5. Your Sis sends you details through FB Messenger for the dog treats. Search in Amazon again and add the exact one to cart. (2)
  6. Checkout and save. Share some items to some family via email and Facebook. (3)

On this digital shopping trip there are approximately 17 points where your online actions added to your footprint.
All of your activity collectively creates your digital footprint.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all data online, nearly 86% of Americans on the internet have at some point or the other tried to remove their personal information.

Privacy Statistics


How Your Digital Footprint Works


Every time you visit any web site cookies are installed which collect data about you and your activity on that web site. This information can include your IP address (unique address which can identify your device or network), login details, search and any relevant purchase details.


When you visit a web site and click the Cookie Consent button you are leaving a record of your activity. This also includes every time you sign up for a newsletter, sign up for text or push notifications or post on social media, you are adding to your digital footprint.


Your digital footprint is more than just your activity. Your digital footprint is also your online reputation so, you want to make sure you keep it positive. Law enforcement, employers, schools and other organizations can research your activity viand make value judgements about you as a person based on your online activity and reputation.


Further, you may not always know when your data is being collected. Apps can be installed which collect additional data. On some devices you use you may be providing geo-location data and details on social media interactions which can be used for advertisers.


Now you know more about your digital foot print, you can use this to ensure your digital foot print works for you.


Stay tuned for more articles on:


Manage Your Online Reputation
How to Browse the Internet Anonymously
Which Internet Browsers Give You the Best Privacy

Learn more about Blinkstream Services today. Whether you are looking for a web site upgrade, new ecommerce site, content development or online lead generation reach out and get started on your next project.

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