You may not be aware of this, but your data holds a price. It can be sold and bought by companies in order to try and sell you things using ads targeted specifically to you. And you give it away for free wherever you go online. Social media is a huge part of this as anyone can see if what you have done at the weekend on Facebook or where you work on LinkedIn if you have an open account.
A digital footprint is the impression that you as a user, make online. However, there are two types of data that are collected on you to help make your online experience more personnel to you. The one that you be aware of is an active footprint. This is the information that you share on social media, for example if you go to a nice café or are out with friends somewhere. The information that you might not be aware is being collected is known as passive. This includes web clicks, IP address’ or even your purchase history. If you have ever wondered how your browser knows what kind of thing’s to advertise to you, then this is why.
There are ways to minimise the effects of this, however. These include using VPN’s or proxies. Luckily the data collected by the passive method is not searchable so that shouldn’t present too much of an issue to you. But we thought it best to make you aware of just how search engines know how to advertise to you. Digital footprint can be both a positive and negative thing. Reducing your digital footprint will also decrease the likelihood that it will have a negative effect on you. If you need any more information on this topic, Mozilla is a fantastic website to look at for all the information on how best to keep your privacy online. Link to Mozilla here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/