digital footprint, digital profile, online portfolio, online footprint, social media marketing,
JOB HUNT / 14 December 2016
Digital Footprints and How To Leave Your Mark
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Caleb Buzzas
Branding Intern
Eugene

Digital Footprints and How To Leave Your Mark

Like it or not, everywhere you go on the Internet; you are being watched. From the sites you visit, to the links you click, somebody somewhere is recording information about you. This information is called your digital footprint. It’s an online trail similar to walking in sand, anywhere you go leaves a virtual footprint. 

Your digital footprint can track all sorts of information and is often used to obtain personal information about you such as: demographics, race, religion, or interests. All this is typically gathered through the use of cookies. Cookies are small files websites store on your computer upon your first visit. They track user activity, allow you to store items in shopping carts, and save login information.

 There is a wide range of digital fluency levels today from the commonly tentative baby boomers, which tend not to trust anything online to the notoriously tech savvy Generation Y. But with great power comes great responsibility.

Many people growing up in an increasingly technological age don’t realize that once something is online, it may be there forever. Knowing how to create a solid digital profile, as well as, understanding your digital footprint and its significance is vital to protecting yourself online.

 

Digital Footprint Management

If you want to know who somebody is, what’s the first thing you do? Most likely you would Google them! Well, you’re not the only one who has thought to do this. Many employers in professional fields look to Google, often before the interview process begins. If that doesn’t give them any idea of who you are, the next stop is social media platforms. Even with maximum privacy settings on, the people you know may friends of a friend. Basically, you never know who could have access to your information.

So how can you manage this digital shadow that follows you everywhere you go?

 

Are there benefits of a digital footprint?

Before you add your digital footprint to the list of things that keep you up at night, it’s key to know there are positives to it as well. Your digital footprint is you, which means that you can decide how you are seen in the eyes of other online. Now that you know people are following your steps, you should take advantage of it. There are countless ways you can manipulate your online trail to benefit YOU! Think of it as an online resume and do things to improve it such as blogging, participating in professional groups, or designing a personal webpage. Now that you know the basics of the digital footprint, you’re ready to leave your mark. Be the best digital ‘you’ that you can!

 

For more tips on how to keep your profiles professional check out some tips on how to build an online portfolio.