Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can be all fun and games, however have you ever thought about your digital footprint?
If you have never heard that word before, let’s take a closer look.
1. dig·i·tal foot·print
1. the information about a particular person that exists on the Internet
as a result of their online activity.
Imagine all of the searches you conduct, content you post on social media and websites you visit are all breadcrumbs. For every platform you use, you leave a breadcrumb and these breadcrumbs will eventually form a trail.
Simply put, whatever you post, like and comment on online can be accessed and traced back to you.
There are two types of digital footprints: passive and active.
Your passive digital footprint is information collected about you and your online activity without you knowing.
Have you ever searched for a pair of shoes and suddenly tons of shoe ads “mysteriously” appear on your Facebook timeline and other webpages you visit? Or do you tend to like photos of art on Instagram and then your suggested photos are full of cool street art from around the world?
You may wonder, “How did they know I was searching for Nikes when I was supposed to be doing my homework? Something weird is going on here!” This is simply your passive digital footprint at work.
Your active digital footprint is what you post online about yourself.
While active digital footprint is more straightforward and you control what people are able to see about you, it can still have a major impact on your future.
Sometimes we share things that we find funny or amusing, but can be deemed as inappropriate. In addition, sometimes we don’t think about the things we say or how we speak online because teachers or parents aren’t around to hear or see them.
However, your information can still be stored for anyone to potentially see.
When it is time to apply for scholarships, internships and jobs some companies are turning to social media to get to know you better. They want to see what your interests are, how you present yourself and if you are actively involved online.
If someone were to look at your social media profiles what would your digital footprint say about you?