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Digital footprint



Students should understand what digital footprints they leave when working and studying online and how to protect themselves from hackers or cookies.

A digital footprint/a digital shadow/an electronic footprint – refers to the trail of data one leaves when using the internet. It includes visited websites, sent emails and information submitted online. It can be used to track a person’s online activities and devices. Online learners create their digital footprint either actively or passively.

Digital footprints matter because they are relatively permanent, and once the data is public or semi-public the owner has little control over how others will use it. Here are some tips for protecting your personal data and managing your online reputation:

  • Use search engines to check your digital footprint.
  • Reduce the number of information sources that mention you-Limit the amount of data you share.
  • Double-check your privacy settings.
  • Avoid oversharing on social media.
  • Avoid unsafe websites.
  • Avoid disclosing private data on public Wi-Fi.
  • Delete old accounts.
  • Create strong passwords and use a password manager.
  • Keep an eye on your medical records.
  • Don’t log in with Facebook.
  • Keep software up to date.
  • Review your mobile use.
  • Think before you post.
  • Act fast after a breach.
  • Use a VPN, virtual private network”.

(Kaspersky 2022)