A digital footprint is a trail left by an entity’s interactions in a digital environment; including their usage of TV, mobile phone, internet and world wide web, mobile web and other devices and sensors. Digital footprints provide data on what an entity has performed in the digital environment; and are valuable in assisting behavioral targeting, personalization, targeted marketing, digital reputation, and other social media or social graphing services.
In social media, a digital footprint is the size of an individuals online presence; as it relates to the number of individuals they interact with.
We spend hours online visiting multiple email services, social networks, shopping and gaming sites, banking and financial services’ websites, blogs and a host of other websites which may include our own. As we surf the web from one website to the next we leave a trail and nuggets of information about ourselves. Everything we do online is part of our digital footprint.
Over the last few years publishing has become has become very easy on the web, and our digital footprint has evolved into 2 distinct flavors- Social and Personal. Our social footprint includes information we publish and share with friends and family or the world via social networking sites, blogs, etc. Our personal footprint includes information that we keep to ourselves or share with a few and includes our email, documents, financial and other details.
Facebook is the most popular social platform and our footprint on facebook includes status updates, comments, wall posts, photos, videos and links we share. For example, on an average 250 million photos are updated daily on facebook. Similarly our Tweets, our bio, answers, questions and other engagements on LinkedIN, our video uploads on Youtube, Vimeo, our avatars on gaming websites etc. all makeup social footprint.
Our email accounts usually hold the key to most of our digital life. All welcome emails with login info, activation emails and banks statements are found in one primary email account. Most accounts also have important work emails which could include sensitive information, legal documents and communication, scanned copies of important documents, etc. All these could be part of our personal footprint. Along with email, our Pay Pal account, Ebay account, itunes account etc. all may form part of our personal footprint.
Here’s a cool Facebook app that shows how exposed our personal information is on the web.
Did you find that spooky? Yes there is so a lot out there about you for grabs..
OK So how do you find out how exposed you are?
Take a Simple Test 5 step test:
a. Do a Google Vanity Search (Google for your name) and scan through to the 20th page.
b. Do a Vanity Search on Facebook ( will also get you the Bing result). or go to Account Menu -> Privacy Settings -> View Settings -> Preview My Profile to see how the world sees your profile
c. Linked In Search for your name and see the results that pop up
d. Twitter Search: Go to www.Search.twitter.com and do a Vanity search to find out what is being tweeted about you.
e.Search for your bank account, driver license number or other unique identifiers and passwords on you local machine or install Google Local and search you local machine.
If you don’t like what you see in the results above, it’s time you take action.