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Have You Ever Thought About Your Digital Footprint?

Have You Ever Thought About Your Digital Footprint?

We spend so much of our time online these days. We create accounts here and enter passwords over there and we don’t even give it a second thought. But perhaps we should. Have you ever thought about the digital footprint that you’re leaving behind on a daily basis?

 

Your digital footprint is everything that you leave behind as you move around the Internet. Things such as app use, comments on social media, and even email records – it’s basically your online history and it can potentially be seen by other people or tracked in a database.

 

Since the big GDPR introduction earlier this year, you have likely seen pop-ups on every site you enter asking you about ‘cookies’. Well, these cookies are placed on your system and they can track your movement from site-to-site. They allow targeted advertising that will show you products you’ve been recently reading about or looking at online. This is one of the ways we leave a digital footprint.

 

Most of us are on at least one social media platform. Well, this is where your digital footprint can really leave a mark. How many ‘likes’ do you do a day? How about retweets on Twitter or shares on Facebook? They all contribute to you leaving your mark on the online world. It’s worth making sure you know what the default privacy settings are for your social media accounts, and continue to keep an eye on them regularly. Sites will often introduce new policies that may increase the visibility of your data. Stay astute and clued up so that you are only sharing what you are 100% happy to.

 

Digital Footprint

 

 

All this may be fine when we are alive and well. But what about when we die? What should we want to happen with all of this information if and when the worst happens? As a blogger, I am leaving a pretty huge digital footprint. Not only is this entire blog online, but all of my social accounts too. It’s more than a footprint. It’s more like a crater! My online presence is essentially my career portfolio out there online, for all to see.

 

If anything was to happen to me and I was no longer around to look after my online accounts it’s important to me that my career legacy is covered. SunLife has some useful information about this if you’re interested in finding out how to secure your digital legacy.

 

Whether it’s for work or for play, the internet is such a huge part of our lives these days. We don’t give it a second thought about logging on and going about our daily routines and processes. But it’s always worth being mindful of what we are sharing and leaving behind. Will you be happy for your children or even grandchildren to see what you’ve posted in ten or twenty years time? What’s funny now might not be remotely amusing in a few years.

 

The internet is permanent. As soon as you share or post something, it’s out there. You might not be able to see it anymore if you delete it, but there will be a trail and it’s a digital footprint that leads back to you. I’m not saying we should stop altogether, that’s never going to happen. But perhaps we should all start thinking a bit more about the footprints we are leaving in this virtual world. Let’s try and make sure they are footprints to be proud of. They will be your online legacy one day and that’s something to really think about.

 

 

Do you ever think about your digital footprint? Are you concerned about what might happen to your online accounts when you die? Let me know in the comments.

 

 


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9 Comments

  1. 28th August 2018 / 7:09 am

    Thought provoking post. I am very glad that social media wasn’t around when I was in my wayward teens and twenties. This is something we talk about regarding posting our kids on the internet and very mindful of.

  2. 28th August 2018 / 8:09 am

    How interesting Jaki – It’s something I have never considered. Hopefully I won’t be too embarrassing but I take your point that what is amusing today could be considered wrong in the future. Something to think about xx

  3. 28th August 2018 / 9:04 am

    I’ll admit it crosses my mind sometimes – more so for my children who’ve never know a time without the internet. But, it’s a fact of life nowadays and something we should be aware of, careful about and conscious of – but also not worry too much about.
    #TriumphantTales

  4. 28th August 2018 / 10:55 am

    I often think about this. I try to tidy things up as I go but I am sure that there is information littered throughout the Internet that I haven’t remembered or don’t even know about. #TriumphantTales

  5. 28th August 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Food for thought Jaki. I reallu need to check on my settings! #triumphanttales

  6. 28th August 2018 / 4:12 pm

    I haven’t given it much of a thought but I will now. Thanks for teaching me and giving me a reminder of this. #TriumphantTales

  7. 29th August 2018 / 9:24 pm

    I’m very conscious about my digital footprint and it put me off starting my blog for a long time. It’s also the reason I’ve kept it relatively anonymous. I hadn’t actually thought of the legacy part of it though so thanks for making me think about that! #triumphanttales

  8. 29th August 2018 / 9:41 pm

    Really interesting and thought provoking post – although I’ve thought about my digital footprint I’ve thought less about the impact it may have on other people, and not at all about what happens when I’m not around #triumphanttales

  9. 30th August 2018 / 9:51 am

    I don’t think people often think about this. But once you put something out there online it stays there. I often think of this and it’s in large part why I don’t share many pictures of my son or use his full name. I recently went through google to remove references to me in search results. It was remarkable how many there are! Some of this was due to information being out of date, but I’m also mindful that I don’t give too much away publicly. (previous stalker, weird family history.. it’s a long story!). #TriumphantTales

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