How to Take Control of Your Digital Footprint - The Coventry Observer

How to Take Control of Your Digital Footprint

Coventry Editorial 30th May, 2023 Updated: 1st Jun, 2023   0

How to Take Control of Your Digital Footprint

Our lives are increasingly lived in the online sphere. It’s where we work, socialise, access entertainment, pay bills, and learn new things. The internet has changed the world for the better and has so many opportunities and possibilities still to offer us.

However, not everyone realises that there are downsides to the internet. You leave a trace of yourself wherever you go online, your movements and actions can be tracked to build up an unerringly accurate picture of who you are and what you’re all about. While this sounds scary, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Read on to find out more.

What is a Digital Footprint?

Doing just about anything online, be it visiting a website, watching a video, or sending an email, will leave a trace of data. This is what’s known as your digital footprint. It’s like a trail of breadcrumbs that can be followed to figure out where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to.

You can leave active digital footprints, such as when you register for a new website or post a photo to social media, or passive digital footprints, which is when your data is tracked by platforms without you being aware of it.

Digital footprints are a by-product of how the internet works, but they carry some risks. Cybercriminals can target them and use the information they find to compromise private systems or even carry out phishing scams.

So, how can you take control of your digital footprint? There are methods available that can ensure your personal info won’t appear in a Google search and to limit the amount of your data being tracked. Find out more below.

Removing Information From Google

Google is an incredibly powerful search engine that utilises advanced algorithms to generate instant and highly accurate results. For cybercriminals, Google can be a way to find out more about a potential target. It can even display personal and potentially sensitive information, that could leave someone at risk of identity theft and fraud.

Discovering that your personal or sensitive financial information is easily accessible through a Google search can be a shocking and upsetting experience. You’ll feel like your privacy has been breached and you will likely feel exposed and vulnerable. This is an extreme example of a digital footprint gone awry, but it’s a situation more and more people are finding themselves in.

Thankfully, Google does offer a feature that accepts requests for content removal. If you believe you can be easily identified or targeted by the information available on Google, you can submit a request for it to be removed.

Think About What You Post

When you apply for a new job, one of the first things your potential employer is going to do is search for your name online. If you have posted inappropriate or offensive material at any time in the past, there’s a good chance it’s going to be seen, which could seriously harm your job prospects.

Unfortunately, Google will not remove content you find to be personally embarrassing. This means you need to think about what you’re posting at all times and consider how it might affect your digital footprint.

About the Author

Bernadine Racoma is the Content Manager of Her long experience in an international development institution and extensive travels have provided her with a wealth of knowledge and insights to cultural diversity. She writes to inform, engage, and share the idea of the Internet being a useful platform for communicating, knowledge sharing, educating, and entertaining.


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