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Your Digital Footprint Matters

Your digital footprint paints a picture of who you are.

Make sure it's accurate. Learn how in a few easy tutorials.

Every day, whether we want to or not, most of us contribute to a growing portrait of who we are online; a portrait that is probably more public than we assume.

This portrait helps companies target content at specific markets and consumers, helps employers look into your background, and helps advertisers track your movements across multiple websites. Whatever you do online, you might be leaving digital footprints behind.

So no matter what you do online it’s important that you know what kind of trail you’re leaving, and what the possible effects can be. 

While it's not possible to have ZERO footprints, the first steps toward reducing your digital footprint and managing your digital identity are not that hard.

Here are some things that can help!

1. Learn The Basics: What's A Digital Footprint?

Your digital footprint is all the stuff you leave behind as you use the Internet. Comments on social media, Skype calls, app use and email records- it's part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked in a database.

How Do We Leave Digital Footprints? This happens in many ways. 

Here are some of them:

Websites And Online Shopping

Retailers and product review sites often leave cookies on your system which can track your movement from site-to-site, allowing targeted advertisements that can show you products you've been recently reading about or looking at online.

Social Media.

All those +1s, Retweets, Facebook comments (even private ones) leave a record.  Make sure you know what the default privacy settings are for your social media accounts, and keep an eye on them. Sites often introduce new policies and settings that increase the visibility of your data. They may rely on you just clicking “OK” to whatever terms they are introducing, without reading them.

Mobile Phones, Tablets, or Laptops.

Some websites will build a list of different devices you have used to visit those sites. While this can often be used as a way to help secure your account, it is important to understand the information being collected about your habits.

2. Know Why Should You Manage Your Digital Footprint.

Make no mistake about it – the web is listening every time you use it! It’s important that you understand what you’re leaving behind when you visit a website.

Here's a short video on why you should care about managing your digital footprint.

 

Link to transcript of video

3. Watch These Online Tutorials.

Take back control of your online identity.  Here are nine online tutorials to help you not only learn about your digital footprint, but help you make the right choices for you.

Watch them now!

Share The Tutorials!

Tutorial 1:
What is a Digital Footprint?

This tutorial will review the benefits and costs of your digital footprint

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digital footprint tutorial 1: What is a Digital Footprint?

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Tutorial 2:
Why did we Start Leaving such Big Footprints?

This tutorial is a case study of how everyday Internet users can build up such a big digital footprint.

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digital footprint tutorial 2:  Why did we Start Leaving such Big Footprints?

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Tutorial 3:
What is the Economic Bargain for Internet Users?

Everything has a price! This tutorial will look at the economics of your digital footprint.

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Digitial Footprint Tutorial 3:  What is the Economic Bargain for Internet Users?

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Tutorial 4:
Are Digital Footprints a Problem?

Is loss of privacy on the Internet an issue?

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Digital Footprint Tutorial 5:  Are Digital Footprints a Problem?

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Tutorial 5:
Do Different Devices Make Different Digital Footprints?

What’s the difference between a digital footprint made by a smart phone and a tablet?

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Digital Footprint Tutorial 6: Do Different Devices Make Different Digital Footprints?

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Tutorial 6:
How Can I manage My Digital Footprints?

While managing your digital footprint isn’t easy, this tutorial will guide you on how you can start making it part of your online routine.

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DIgital Footprint Tutorial 9:  How Can I manage My Digital Footprints?

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Tutorial 7:
Who Is Tracking Me and How Do They Do It?

This tutorial looks at who follows us around the Internet.

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DIgital Footprint Tutorial 4:  Who Is Tracking Me and How Do They Do It?

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Tutorial 8:
What Dynamics are at Work in the World of Digital Footprints?

This tutorial gives an overview of the nuances of what a digital footprint can mean in different parts of the world.

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Digital Footprint Tutorial 7:  What Dynamics are at Work in the World of Digital Footprints?

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Tutorial 9:
How Does Legislation Affect Digital Footprints?

The Internet is global, but privacy laws are not. This tutorial looks at how privacy laws in different parts of the world can impact your digital footprint.

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Digital Footprint Tutorial 8:  How Does Legislation Affect Digital Footprints?

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