Your digital footprint

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.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the article and do the other exercises.


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?’


How do you take care of your digital footprint?

Language level
Average: 3.8 (9 votes)
Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.


Submitted by wains on Wed, 02/22/2023 - 10:24

I use a complex password only for important sites for me. On other sites I don’t have a strong password but never share my personal data, so there is nothing to lose. honestly I used to use internet in the wrong way but then I had an unpleasant situation. Actually I am happy this happened to me because I got an important lesson in life. Seems to me now I am a lot more careful.
(sorry for my english)

Submitted by yaya on Tue, 09/20/2022 - 01:00

I have some passwords that make it easier for me to remember how I should carry out the procedures in each of the needs that arise, some are letters and others are numbers, but most have several characters, and thus avoid being deciphered. I am very clear about how important security is in these times.

Submitted by 10AN615 on Wed, 06/08/2022 - 04:28

I create strong password to protect digital footprint and don't click on links and keep my personal identity private
Profile picture for user robotrobot

Submitted by robotrobot on Thu, 02/17/2022 - 15:13

I have always used strong passwords for my social media and e-mail.So It seems to me that nobody will ever guess it,in addition, I prefer to use funny nicknames instead of my real name.However,I do not clear my browser history as often as I should therefore my telephone storage is always full.. I beleive that it is really significant to use Internet securely.

Submitted by otgoo on Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:52

I always use a privacy window to access sites where my personal information is stored, such as Facebook and Internet Banking, and I don't record my personal account or card number on the sites at all, and I always delete my login history when using the same tool with many people. The tip is that this will help protect your privacy

Submitted by Ohbitna_me2004 on Sun, 12/05/2021 - 11:14

Most of my works and assignments are done online. Therefore, internet safety is very important so as not to lose my privacy. To be safe, i never click on links and open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources i am not familiar with. And i am using strong password includes a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, i don't download apps that look suspicious or come from a site i don't trust. Most importantly, i always make sure my device is secure and i use secure VPN connection.

Submitted by cantevenexhale on Sun, 12/05/2021 - 08:50

As a high-schooler who loves cyber security, I assume that I have enough knowledge about keeping myself safe online. To be safe, I use password managers which create not crackable passwords and save them. Also every time I surf the internet, I use private tabs of the browser that I am using. Most importantly I never click on suspicious buttons and never open non-trustworthy emails such as lottery winning notifications and unbelievable breaking news because I know that those links can be used against me.

Submitted by Noitsnotme on Wed, 12/01/2021 - 17:23

Yeah , well I use a lot of social media stuff like instagram Facebook twitter twitch tumblr etc I knew I left traces in the internet but didn’t know it was that serious that someone can literally figure out all my personal information from that . Now that I know about this , I can be cautious and careful about sharing my personal info online .

Submitted by dhadzikadunic on Tue, 11/23/2021 - 22:06

I sometimes use an incognito window when I want to avoid issues with cashing.
Profile picture for user COOLIONELA

Submitted by COOLIONELA on Thu, 02/25/2021 - 13:49

I do all the steps above and more! I do not mean to blow my own horn and I'm terribly sorry but I do honestly think everyone should use not google ~ firefox and duck-duck-go not facebook/instergram/twitter ~ manyverse and element not android ~ linux not play store ~ aptoide and snapcraft not google translate ~ linguee that is a small list!!! But do not get frightened many people use them and remember when you think you are the only person who thinks like you then you are not right, there is loads of people that think very similarly to you so be proud to be you! and to have your own beliefs.

Submitted by heeyitskate on Mon, 01/18/2021 - 11:36

To be honest, I often use such social networks as Instagram, Snapchat and VK, upload and shares my photos and videos, write comments and put a buttom "like". I know that it can be used against me that's why I always think before doing it and then post it or not. Usually I use usernames and my real photo. By the way, I don't chat with strangers without caution my Mom abot it. As for passwords, all of them are mixed. Besides, nobody knows them, exept me, of course. Moreover, I used only that sites that have a safe connection and after usinf it I log off. I try not to forget deleting my searching history and etc. I think it's enough to take care about digital footprint as i do it.

Submitted by Vuquan on Wed, 09/02/2020 - 08:37

i dont know
Profile picture for user linhdan83

Submitted by linhdan83 on Wed, 06/24/2020 - 15:11

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.

Submitted by Lokfna on Wed, 04/15/2020 - 05:58

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.
Profile picture for user Giovannichoi

Submitted by Giovannichoi on Tue, 04/07/2020 - 12:46

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.
Profile picture for user pidixtoulis

Submitted by pidixtoulis on Wed, 03/25/2020 - 11:26

I don't know

Submitted by Elife on Tue, 02/25/2020 - 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.

Submitted by havy230819 on Wed, 10/23/2019 - 10:28

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.

Submitted by Mihael on Sun, 05/19/2019 - 18:18

I never use my own picture or keep it blank... use another name

Submitted by parsasoroori on Wed, 01/23/2019 - 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 :(
English courses near you