In the days of the Internet, the term ‘Digital Footprint’ is passed around a lot. But what does it actually mean, what can it do, and why does it matter?

Digital Footprint is a term used on the Internet to describe the trail, traces or ‘footprints’ left online by users. It is information that is transmitted online, (through things such as registrations, emails, attachments, video/image uploads and more) that leaves behind personal data/information about the user for others to see, and third parties to track.

So what are the pros and cons of your digital footprint?

 

Pros:

  • Legal issues, such as fraud can be easily detected through your digital footprint. This is a big one.
  • Cookies use the information left behind. This means that adverts or suggested products may become more relevant to you, and companies will be able to offer incentives based on your interests which means the chance of you saving money is higher.

Cons:

  • Your personal data can be used by companies without your knowledge to generate revenue.
  • Those tailored adverts mentioned above, can become inconvenient and annoying when you’re inundated with them!

So, the question remains, how can you protect your own digital footprint? There are simple ways, such as deleting your cookies and browsing history regularly and reviewing security settings on websites that you sign up to/use. But remember, anything posted becomes public (yes, even if you’re set to private!) and so you may wish to take more advanced actions to make sure you are safe online.

HBRF are hosting 2 seminar events on June 8th, where key speakers will be going through extremely useful ways to protect yourself online. For more information on the events, including locations, speakers and times, visit our Events Page and book your place!