Technology What is

What is a Digital Footprint? Definition, Types & Features

Digital Footprint

What is a Digital Footprint?

In the online world, it is necessary to leave a mark as otherwise there is no record of anything. A trail of data that is created while using the internet is called a digital footprint. Digital Footprint includes everything from the websites you visit, emails you sent and information you search.

One should be aware of anything before posting something online as data never goes, it is permanent. Digital Footprints are hard to erase but can be minimised.

The main reason why you should know your digital footprint is because it acts as your online identity and builds the online reputation depending on the things you do online.

Digital Footprint Examples

Posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, snap chat, Instagram. Etc is a good example of digital footprints. Another example is filling online forms. Another very common example is agreeing to install cookies on devices when asked or prompted to by the browser. 

It is not difficult to identify digital footprints. For this, you can just search yourself on any search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Digital footprints are useful in obtaining personal details such as demographics, religion, interests, Etc. Cookies are mostly used to gather this information.

Cookies are small file website store on your device after your first visit to the website to track user activity. Advertisers use digital footprints to target customers with customized ads. 

Types of Digital Footprints

  1. Passive: It is not intended by the user. 
  2. Active: The information that person purposely shares with the public or with contacts. 
  3. Personally identifiable:  The information that can be traced with the real name of the person. 
  4. Anonymous: Information generated anonymously.  The IP address is hidden in this type of digital footprint. 
  5. User input: The data resulting from user input. 
  6. Sensor Data: Data that is created with the help of sensors. 

Benefits of Digital Footprints:

Below mentioned are some of the benefits of digital footprints:

  1. Digital Footprint helps in detecting and preventing fraudulent and illegal activities. 
  2. It helps in customisation according to user preference. 
  3. It helps companies to make offers based on interests and needs. 
  4. Digital Footprints help to save cost on companies.
  5. Data can be retrieved easily using stored information. 
  6. Recruiting agencies can find right candidates using digital footprints.
  7. It helps in the management of the online file of people.
  8. It helps authorities to find online criminals.
  9. Based on previous views companies can recommend shopping items
  10. Track of online activity can be maintained. 

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