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5 Things Your Digital Footprint Says About You

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Large Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint reveals a lot of personal information about yourself to others.  Each time you go online, your digital footprint gets larger. For example, advertisers can easily find out the kind of content browse so that they can customize ads just for you. Also, internet users can easily find the content you post online. Therefore, you must realize that you have very little anonymity online.

Your digital footprint tells others (like advertisers) the type of content you look at online. That’s because search engines often sell their user data to advertisers.

Your online browsing habits are essential to brands that want to market their products to you. However, not everyone likes the thought of third-party advertisers buying their personal web browsing history. Unfortunately, if you use a search engine, you agree (knowingly or not) to let them record your search queries.

IP Address Location Tracker

The information is used to tell site owners how their visitors are getting to their site. However, if you don’t like sharing your IP address with anyone, consider using a VPN to access the internet. A VPN will offer you a secure connection to the internet and prevent site owners from knowing your location.

Your ISP tracks and records all of your web browsing history. Therefore, if you are ever in trouble with the law, a court can order your ISP to turn over your web browsing history. That’s why you must watch what you say and do online.

When you sign up for free services from technology companies (like Yahoo, Bing, and Google), they often sell your personal information to advertisers. That’s because technology companies still have to pay for the free services they offer users. Luckily, you can control a lot of the information that they share with advertisers. However, you have to take the time to visit your account settings to change your privacy settings.

Free Email Services

Usually, advertisers are looking for specific keywords that match their target audience. Therefore, you should be careful using free email services to discuss sensitive information. Instead, use a more secure communication method like a company email or one from your ISP.

Your digital footprint shows (a lot of) your social media content to the world. Once you post content online, it never goes away.

That’s because third-party sites scan social media to collect information on users. Therefore, you should set strict privacy settings on all of your social networking accounts. Also, avoid sharing anything too personal or offensive.

News agencies now publish most of their stories online. Therefore, if a digital news story mentions you, it will show up as part of your digital footprint. That means potential employers and those searching for information about you could find it.

However, if you feel that online content is portraying you unfairly and hurting your reputation, you may want to consider hiring a reputation management company. A reputation management firm can help repair your digital profile if something online is destroying your character.

Background Check

Some sites display that information for free. Therefore, others can find out your address (and former addresses) from public records available online. Unfortunately, this isn’t a lot you can do to prevent your public records from showing up online.

People can also find out your employment information online. For example, if you have applied for loans, some of your personal information (like employment records) can get sold to third-party sites. Those sites will then publish your employment history. Also, if your name is on your company’s website, someone could find out where you work from a Google search. Just like other public information available online, employment information is hard to keep others from finding.

Criminal or Court Record

They will become part of your digital footprint, that’s because every state court system in the country now uses digital records–records that others can find online. Therefore, if you have any court records, consider hiring an attorney to help you get those records sealed.

In short, your digital footprint began the first time you used the internet. However, most internet users have no idea that their browsing activity is creating a digital footprint.

That is especially tough for young people who often don’t think about the consequences of posting questionable content.

Unfortunately, once you post content online, it doesn’t disappear because search engines will index it. Therefore, you must use common sense each time you browse online. Don’t post questionable content that might hurt you in the future. Always delete your tracking cookies after each online session, and consider using a VPN to hide your location. Use the privacy controls on your social media profiles to manage who can view your content. A reputation management service can clean up your digital image. If you have any court records, talk to an attorney about getting them sealed.

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