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Where is my “Digital” Footprint?

I grew up being a daddy’s girl. I always saw my dad as a brave and strong person. He had endured the depression years, lost both of his parents as a young child, grew up in an orphanage, and eventually he joined the Air Force. I remember always wanting to follow behind him. Help him in the yard, be right beside him when he was at his Automobile Garage working on others cars. I guess you could say I followed along in his footsteps. I can remember as a small child putting on his shoes that were obviously too big. I did not care because I was following in his footsteps.

In our world today, we leave a ‘footprint’ in many places as we navigate through the cyber world. This is known as a digital footprint.  This footprint can be compared to someone walking along the beach. The imprint of the foot as a person walks along the sandy beach shore. The imprint along the beach is a visual that others can see the path you have taken.

The footprint that is left in a digital world does not fade away like that of an imprint left on the sandy shores of the beach. Any information that you may share online does not go away. When posting, you really need to consider what your posting, what information you may be sharing. Always remember that once you post something it can always be copied, shared and can attract unwelcome attention.

A digital imprint is what your online activities consist of—what you do or say or what others may do or say to you. These footprints are made by things that become visible on different platforms on the internet. These can include social media posts, pictures, places you check into, status updates, sites that you have ‘like’ or ‘follow.’ Additionally, it can include information about you such as websites you have visited, messages you have sent and more. 

Here are some tips for protecting yourself:

  • Only accept friend request or follow requests from people you know in real life.
  • Set privacy settings on all your personal sites. Make them not for public view, only for friends.
  • Never share passwords. Make your passwords strong.
  • Delete things you know are not appropriate to reduce the chance they are shared by others.
  • Always question yourself before posting or going to websites. It just may live on forever if you don’t.

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