Digital Footprints

CLASS - 11 COMPUTER SCIENCE

Sun Mar 27, 2022

Digital Footprints

  • A digital footprint is data that is left behind when users have been online. 
  • Digital footprint or digital shadow refers to one's unique set of traceable digital         activities, actions, contributions and communications. 
  • A digital footprint is the impression you create on the internet through your online activity, which includes browsing, interactions with others, and publication of content.

When people think of a digital footprint they usually think "cookie". When a site you visit drops a "cookie" in your browser, it contributes to your digital footprint because it allows marketers, and others, to follow you around. But a digital footprint can include much more.


Digital footprint examples include the following:

  • The type of browser you are using (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) 
  • Your screen resolution · Your IP address
  • The kind of computer you are using
  • Your operating system


Types of digital footprint: 

There are two main classifications of digital footprints: active and passive

An active footprint can be defined as the intentional data trail that an individual leaves behind, such as: 

  • Sending someone an email (you intend for it to be seen by someone) 
  • Publishing a blog
  • Posting on social media platforms (e.g. Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram) – a Tweet, Facebook status update, and an Instagram photo upload 
  • Filling out forms that involve subscriptions to emails or text updates 

Passive footprint would be defined as the unintentional traces that an individual creates on the internet, such as: 

  • Using apps and websites that use geolocation to pinpoint a user’s whereabouts 
  • Browsing products and activities, which advertisers compile and analyze to profile you and provide targeted advertisements

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