UnliHow – Digital Footprints: Definition, Types, and How to Remove Them
Digital footprint is a fairly common term among internet users. Anyone who has ever surfed the internet, must have a digital footprint. In fact, the many digital footprints left on the internet make netizens remind each other to be careful with digital footprints.
The reason is, the digital traces you leave behind can be a lurking danger if found by people who have bad intentions. Perpetrator cybercrime usually take advantage of digital traces to commit various harmful crimes such as account break-ins.
As an internet user, you need to increase security regarding all the activities you do on the internet. Through this article, you will get to know more about what a digital footprint is, its types, and how to prevent it.
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What is a Digital Footprint
Digital footprints are all the information you leave behind after your activities on the internet. The form can be in the form of posts on social media, shopping history on linetestimonial results on line that you provide, and many others.
In addition, digital traces can also be generated from the activities you do indirectly. As cookies installed on the device when you visit a website.
Or an application that can collect data without you knowing it. This usually happens when you download an app and allow the app to access the data information on your device.
Also read: Know What is Data Breach and How to Prevent It
Types of Digital Footprint
There are two types of digital footprints that can be generated from the way you interact on the internet. Here’s the explanation:
Active Digital Footprint
An active digital imprint is a type of digital imprint where the owner consciously shares information about themselves. For example, like when you upload a post to social media or interact via email reply nor Direct Message.
Another example, when you make a post or reply to a post on the forum on line through your username profile. Each of these activities, is included in the active digital footprint.
Passive Digital Footprint
Passive digital traces are digital traces that are collected by other parties without the owner of the digital footprint being aware of it. For example, when you visit a website which you unknowingly collect visitor information such as IP address.
Another example of this type of digital footprint is the use of ads or advertisements by certain parties by taking advantage of the activities you do on the internet. Like when you like a post, save, comment, or share the post.
Also read: 10 Ways to Remove Ads on Android
Negative Impact of Digital Footprint
Digital footprints are common on the internet. But, did you know that digital footprints can harm their owners? Below are the impacts of a negative digital footprint:
- A digital footprint can influence a person’s opinions and perspectives. If you have a bad digital footprint, it’s not impossible for someone to judge you negatively. Even a bad digital footprint can also be a bullying factor.
- Digital footprint is a determining factor for college admission and scholarships. Some universities will visit applicants’ social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to find out more about prospective students and prospective scholarship recipients.
- Digital footprint is an opportunity to get jobs and promotions. Recruiters will usually trace a candidate’s digital footprint before accepting him or her into the company. If you have a negative digital footprint, it will certainly be a barrier factor to getting the job or promotion you want.
- Vulnerable to personal security. Sharing too much information on the internet is tantamount to sharing your weaknesses with criminals. The number of digital footprints you have, will make you more vulnerable to attacks cyber as scamming, phishing, spoofingand so forth.
Also read: What is Online Fraud and How to Avoid It?
How to Erase Digital Traces
If you’re worried about the digital footprints you’re leaving on the internet, you might think about deleting them. There are several ways you can do to remove digital traces:
Delete the account you own
Many people have more than one account on the internet. Good for social media accounts, shopping on lineplayed games, and many others. Sometimes, these accounts are forgotten because they are rarely used. For that, you need to double-check whether you have another account, before you delete digital traces through the account you have.
If you don’t want to delete your account, another way to get rid of your digital footprint is to deactivate your account. Some social media have features deactive which can temporarily deactivate an account.
Keep in mind that deactivating an account is not the same as deleting an account. Deactivated accounts will not be searchable, but the digital traces contained in them are still stored on the internet.
Also Read: How to Permanently and Temporarily Delete Instagram, Can be Via HP or PC!
Search your name on Google
One way to find your digital footprint is to type your name into the Google search engine. If there are photos or posts that you don’t like, you can delete them through the sources in the photo or post. If you can’t delete it, you can ask for help Google Search Help.
Manage privacy settings
Some social media have privacy management features such as private account. You can use this feature to limit the information you provide on the internet. Apart from that, you can also manage privacy settings on the web browser that you use, as well as on website that you visit, according to your needs.
Limit activities on the internet
It’s hard to completely erase the digital footprint for someone who is very active on the internet. For this reason, it is better not to overdo it when using or sharing information on the internet.
Also read: What is Cyber Security? Definition, Elements, and Benefits
Protect Your Digital Footprint
Digital footprints are one of the things that need to be protected if you want to stay safe on the internet. You can start by being careful in online activities that can create a digital footprint, both active and passive.
If you’ve shared too much information on the internet, you can delete your account to get rid of your digital footprint. However, digital traces may be left behind and not completely erased. For that, remember to always be wise on the internet in order to prevent potential harm.
That’s the whole content of our article this time about Digital Footprints: Definition, Types, and How to Remove Them