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.

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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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Discussion

How do you take care of your digital footprint?

Comments

linhdan83's picture
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linhdan83 24 June, 2020 - 16:11

When staying online, I don't use my real name and pictures. I’m careful and know how to deal with strangers on the Internet. Moreover, I avoid sharing my personal information online. About password, I use long words including special characters and keep some notes in my house to remember.

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Lokfna's picture
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Lokfna 15 April, 2020 - 06:58

Everyone should think about their digital footprint. We live in the digital age when our life is largely connected to the Internet and depends on it.
I do not post reliable information about myself on the Internet and always protect my accounts with double protection. I store information on a computer only in encrypted form. If I send some important data, I also encrypt it so that when someone breaks into it it can’t be received and used for bad purposes. If I communicate on topics that somehow affect my life and discredit me or my relatives, I can communicate in secret chats. In many ways, people do not monitor themselves on the Internet and leave a lot of data and are faced with scammers or police.

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Giovannichoi's picture
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Giovannichoi 7 April, 2020 - 13:46

I don't exactly know how I take care of my digital footprints, and the most important is I am from Korea. In Korea, we are taught to use real name and real photo of you. Because many people are posting some abusive comments on the internet websites. Also it is not different to keep our personal identity secretand report thecimments which is against the law. I am keeping the rules very well and my password is very complexing too. It is important to protect our ID from the other people who try to steal it, I think it is same with the other countries. I will keep taking care of my digital footprints cautiously.

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Elife's picture
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Elife 25 February, 2020 - 00:44

I usually don’t forget to log off when I leave a website, especially if I am using a share computer. Also, I don't give information at people that I don't know.

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havy230819's picture
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havy230819 23 October, 2019 - 11:28

I have to say I spend a lot of time surfing Facebook, Instagram a day. Most of my friends also use them, so we keep in touch with each other through social media all the time. I have already known about footprint on the Internet, so there are some tips I used to keep myself a safe user. First, always remember to log out of your accounts after using a public computer. Second, select your income information. You should consider if this topic brings you any knowledge, or suitable for your demand. And finally, think twice before using the "like" button or leave any comment.

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parsasoroori's picture
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parsasoroori 23 January, 2019 - 19:29

I have a common password for all my accounts but it is complex. I didn't use to take care about my digital footprint; until I faced a complicated situation. I shared some comments about personal ideas and after two years the website was the first one in Google and unfortunately everybody could read my comments and the worst thing is, my first name and last name was there :(

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Israa_Tantawy's picture
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Israa_Tantawy 3 September, 2017 - 20:30

I never put my real photo, but I put valuable picture in its meaning. I never publish posts, write comments or share my information.

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QueenPinkBluebel's picture
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QueenPinkBluebel 3 August, 2017 - 14:23

I take care of my digital footprint by using a nickname and I never post anything on my account which is private. I also don't use my real picture and i'm careful with strangers and I don't give personal details.

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Dishwasher's picture
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Dishwasher 10 February, 2017 - 10:51

I use weird names and pictures like Dishwasher and never click on links anyone sends me. All my accounts are private so people I don't know can't see the things I post unless I give them access.

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matt10's picture
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matt10 2 November, 2016 - 21:18

I usually use the internet on my phone and computer , to download games, chat with my friends and usually homework. I always be careful with my password. My password is very complicated.

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MagaaKiffel's picture
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MagaaKiffel 20 October, 2016 - 00:49

I use internet from my phone or computer and have strong passwords. upload pictures or videos but I careful

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Yami2022's picture
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Yami2022 13 October, 2016 - 22:58

I usually use internet on my phone my social networks always left open I do not talk to strangers some social networks the private I have always upload photos on my networks

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Magaa's picture
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Magaa 13 October, 2016 - 03:15

I take care of my footprint, using passwords on social networks, not giving information and personal details. Use usarname and passwords. I have careful with people I do not know

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MeliG98's picture
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MeliG98 13 October, 2016 - 00:14

I download photos and video on social network. I use internet for talking with family and friends or do homework. I always use usurname and complicated password on my social network, my password have got letters and number. I never share my personal information.

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Fernan16P's picture
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Fernan16P 12 October, 2016 - 23:25

I download music and vídeos. I get news of celebrities. I don't give personal information.
I use a password to protect my identity.
I don't send or read emails, I Am not honest about my age.
I hide my personal information in all my accounts.

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Magalii98's picture
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Magalii98 12 October, 2016 - 11:34

I los on i Type un my username or password
I always instant message friends mas share my photos and videos
I usually social networking aire mi me Facebook
I use seach engines like google. I like listening yo Music. I use password un social net. I don't tell my parents about my online friends
I eleminating my social security netwarks.

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AngelG's picture
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AngelG 10 October, 2016 - 19:12

atally I don´t take care my digital footprint. because I share many photos and personal information on my social network. my password is dificultd and not speak with people stranger, talking with friends and family

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 11 October, 2016 - 09:05

Hi AngelG. It's good that you don't talk to strangers and that you have a secure password. I hope these tips give everyone more ideas on how to take care of their digital footprint. It's important :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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riita22's picture
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riita22 9 October, 2016 - 21:59

Use the Internet to share photos, talking only with friends, I don`t chat with people stragers, and also download music. use password and username in all my social networks.

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567marita's picture
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567marita 8 October, 2016 - 01:22

I use internet on my phone and sometimes on the computer. I like to use social networks, download music and read blogs. Always use username and password.

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Lara1599's picture
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Lara1599 6 October, 2016 - 16:20

I download music, I use username and password. I don't chat with people I don't know. I shere my photos and videos. I don't give personal information, I use social networking sites like Facebook I hide my personal information.

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TamaraCar's picture
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TamaraCar 6 October, 2016 - 07:01

I usually use internet on my phone. My information, photos and videos share only with family and friends.

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Alexx's picture
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Alexx 5 October, 2016 - 00:46

I sometimes use the internet at the computer and if I use it I always log off. My passwords usually are complicated of numbers and letters, and I never tell anybody my passwords.

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vanii16's picture
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vanii16 4 October, 2016 - 17:58

I do research for school proyects, I send ord read emails, I share photos and videos and I use social networking sites like facebook.
I don't give information such as my name phone number of my school.
In e an ehatroom always use a nickname, not my real name.

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Arianaa26's picture
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Arianaa26 3 October, 2016 - 22:47

I usually use the internet at the computer and the mobile phone. I´m careful with strangers. My passwords is complicated is a combination of numbers and letters. I think I´m careful.

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Jime_789's picture
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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.

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zoeban's picture
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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.

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