What is a digital footprint?

You might have heard this term before, but may not know the exact details of what it entails.

Well, just like how a carbon footprint is a measurement of your impact on the environment (to put it very simply), a digital footprint is a measurement of your activity on the Internet.

Online Presence

The size of your digital footprint depends on the size of your online presence.

The number of social media accounts you have, your email address, blogs (if any), and accounts on various apps, shopping websites, gaming sites, etc. all add up to your digital footprint.

How active you are on these portals also determines your impact on the Internet.

Your Internet History

Basically, it is a record of everything you have ever done on the web. We have all written and posted stupid things on the Internet, and they are available for anyone to access if they have the time and interest to do so.

Sounds scary, right?

It can be, if you are careless with your accounts and their security, or have many dormant accounts lying free for hackers to access.

While it is not possible to completely erase your digital footprint, it is possible to minimise it and protect not only yourself but your public image, too.


Read More: Indian Army Told Not To Use Facebook And WhatsApp As Its Encryption Can Be Broken


How To Minimise It

Here are some ways to minimise your digital footprint:

#1. DELETE all the unnecessary and unused accounts on social media and various apps. Most apps have a support id or a procedure to delete your accounts. However, if deletion is not possible, make sure you change your name and delete your address and banking details before uninstalling the app- try to dissociate your personal information from it as much as possible.

#2. PRIVATISE all your social media accounts. Unless you absolutely HAVE to have a public account, change the settings of all of them to private, so that only those you approve can see your posts, and you are not freely accessible to anyone on the web.

#3. TURN OFF YOUR LOCATION on all your apps and devices, and turn them on only as and when you need to, so that tracking you becomes just a *little* bit more difficult.

#4. THINK CAREFULLY before creating a new account on any app or website. Do you really need it? Will you use it more than once? Be careful and judicious before sharing your email address and mobile number all over the web while creating accounts. 

#5. As far as possible, AVOID USING PAYMENT APPS. There’s nothing wrong with good old cash, cheque, and debit card. Payment apps ask for your bank details and location, and it is an unnecessary risk to share these details online. Keep your personal information offline as far as possible.

#6. PURGE your old social media accounts. If you have an old social media account that you have been locked out of or no longer have the email id and phone number associated with it, you can contact the support cell of that website to help delete it.

Basically, make sure that you are in control of how you are seen online.

Of course, it’s not possible to completely hide or erase your online presence, but you can try to keep your online spread as minimal as possible, so that neither hackers nor people you don’t want to associate with can find it.

Stay safe, people.


Image Credits: Google Images

Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_


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