Understanding Your Digital Footprint

Understanding your digital footprint is important for getting a sense of what information there is about you on the internet.

What is a digital footprint?
A digital footprint is anything that can be found out about you on the internet. There are two types of digital footprints you can leave: active or passive.

Active is anything you put out yourself. That’s anything from social media profiles, website portfolios, or things you’ve written and published online. Passive is anything that’s been gathered from you while you surf the web via multiple methods such as cookies. Those cookies often help advertisers target you with certain ads based on the sites you frequent.

How to manage your digital footprint?
You’ve heard it before that what you put out on the internet is forever, and it is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t manage your online presence effectively. Some ways you can understand and manage your digital footprint are:

  1. Google yourself
  2. Create and keep track of strong passwords
  3. Check privacy settings
  4. Think before you post

What’s good about a digital footprint?
It’s a common misconception that having a digital footprint is bad for your reputation, especially when it comes to future employment. Digital footprints can help set you apart in competitive job markets. It can help connect you with other people and express yourself, which may open you up to opportunities both on and offline.

By Taylor J. Bye, Customer Engagement Specialist

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