Every time you do anything on the internet you leave a trail behind you, in the same way you leave a footprint when you walk on sand or mud. Do you know how to take care of your digital footprint? Here are some tips.


Your digital footprint

Every time you go online you leave a trail. This is just like a real footprint. It reveals where you’ve been, how long you stayed and what you’ve been doing there. Every time you register for an online service, send an email, download a video or upload a photo, the information can be accessed and your digital footprint can be revealed. This shouldn’t necessarily be worrying but it is advisable to be aware of your digital footprint and to be cautious and sensible when you are online.

Six top tips for taking care of your digital footprint

  1. Don’t forget to log off when you leave a website, especially if you are using a shared computer. If you don’t, someone can easily pretend to be you!
  2. Don’t tell anyone your passwords and don’t write them down in an obvious place. Make them more complex by using a combination of letters, numbers and punctuation marks.
  3. Tell an adult if you come across anything online that makes you upset, anxious or concerned. There are ways to report inappropriate or abusive content and in most cases web managers respond rapidly.
  4. Remember your favourite websites by using the history button and the bookmark function on your computer or mobile device. This is a way that your digital footprint can work in your favour, but remember to clear your browser history regularly.
  5. If you want to post comments online, you don’t have to use your own name. Invent a nickname to use instead. You can also use a picture instead of a real photo.
  6. Protect your identity online. Be careful about who you share personal information with and always think twice before sharing details like your email, home address, school or phone number with someone.

Think about the future

All kinds of people are interested in your digital footprint. It's now quite common for colleges, universities and employers to check out the online profiles of possible candidates as part of their application process. There are cases of people having missed out on jobs and places in college because their digital footprint didn’t impress the recruiters. So, remember: keep safe, don’t put too much personal information online and always think carefully before you post something. Ask yourself, ‘Would I be happy for absolutely everyone to see this?’

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How do you take care of your digital footprint?


Jime_789's picture
Jime_789 1 October, 2016 - 03:04

I often use the internet on my phone and never log out! My passwords usually are complicated. I don't give information at people that I don't know, only at my friends. I always upload photos in my social redes but not show my house or my house rooms'. I can say that I am a bit careful.

1 user has voted.
zoeban's picture
zoeban 30 September, 2016 - 00:40

I'm not the most carful person in the world, but I take care of what I post on my social networks. I never let my internet friends know if I leave home or if I'm going somewhere. My passwords are a combination of letters and numbers, and if I use a computer I always log off, but I usually use the internet on my phone. The problem is that I never delete the historial.

1 user has voted.
leksa's picture
leksa 21 September, 2016 - 21:38

I really am careful about what I post on Facebook and Twitter, and I barely post on Instagram. But even though I only use internet on my personal mobile phone and laptop, I must admit that I never delete my history. Also, something you should try to do is use different passwords on each website you sign into, in case someone succeeded hacking into one of your account.

0 users have voted.
cklj's picture
cklj 14 September, 2016 - 20:46

I've actually never thought of my digital footprint before. I have been doing everything that's suggested in the text above and I also care about what I post on social media because I'm aware that a lot of people can see my posts: my friends, my relatives, my classmates, former teachers etc. We should carefully choose whether to post something on social media because many people judge based on our profiles and posts.

1 user has voted.
SarahJ's picture
SarahJ 10 February, 2016 - 10:25

actually, I never care about my digital footprint before this. I will try to be more care about my digital footprint. but I think it is not easy since I was a careless girl, I often forgot to log off when left a website. but I will do my best. thanks for the suggestions.

0 users have voted.
youaretheonlyone29's picture
youaretheonlyone29 6 February, 2016 - 11:03

After I do crazy things on Internet, I stopped using social networking and now i see it really don't help us much.

0 users have voted.
Muslimgirl65's picture
Muslimgirl65 4 February, 2016 - 14:31

I use social media to search and learn something.I of course care about but i dont share my life

0 users have voted.
onceden's picture
onceden 3 February, 2016 - 11:23

I don't use the social media so ı dont think about what can ı do.(ı use tumblr and we heart it)

0 users have voted.
AmyGomez's picture
AmyGomez 22 January, 2016 - 07:50

When i don't want anyone know my history, i offen use incognito tabs. Do you know what i mean ? In fact, i think the internet really dangerous if you have more information impotant, so you should understand what you do if you want lost your data. For me if i recieve strange mail or website i not sure don't click.

0 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 22 January, 2016 - 15:03

Hi Amy Gomes, may I ask a question?
What is incognito tabs?
I always log off when I leave computer at school. Should Zi do the same thing at home?
BTW, I received a fishy mail like a blackmail. I ignored it after calling back. Not surprisingly, the internet says they are cheat!!
(๑•́ ₃ •̀๑)

0 users have voted.
Bunne's picture
Bunne 31 March, 2016 - 10:59

incognito tabs are internet tabs that will delete all history as soon as you close the tab. on IE (internet explorer) you can press ctrl+shift+P to open a "in private" tab. on Chrome the key combo is ctrl+shift+N. on firefox it's ctrl+shift+P.

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