How to reduce your online footprint 

Have you ever searched for an item at home then went to work on a totally different computer only to find out the item you THOUGHT you searched for privately is now suggested to you publicly and at work–no less.

You’ve just embarked on learning about your digital footprint. What is a digital footprint you ask?

On the Internet a digital footprint is the word used to describe the trail, traces or “footprints” that people leave online.” (Webopedia)

Reduce your Footprint

Digital footprints are left by the following activities (not exclusive):

  • Visiting websites
  • Online shopping
  • Commenting
  • Social media
  • Skype, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc
  • Apps

There are ways in which you can reduce your footprint on the world wide web.

In this first article, we will start with one if the biggest conglomerate of the internet —-GOOGLE.

Do you have a GMAIL account? An Android? If you answered yes then you are one step closer to being tracked online. Even if you have an Iphone, your footprints are tracked as well. Apple uses the cloud and the cloud is one way in which your footprint is tracked online.

Let’s face it, if you find yourself listed with google, you have developed a huge online footprint.

In order to reduce your online footprint, you need to do a bit of planned maintenance at least once a day, week, or month.

First, let’s deal with Google.

  1. Log into your Google account
  2. Scroll to personal & privacy
  3. Click “My Activity
  4. Click “My Activity”link to open
  5. You will see all of the places you have been surfing online.

If you open any of the links. It may be a bit surprising to see how the internet tracks your behavior.

This is the reason why you see various ads for items you have searched for on different platforms.

In order to minimize your footprint, you must continue to monitor and/or delete the cookies you are leaving behind.

The cookie trail can become a wasteland.

What is a internet cookie: HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. (wikipedia)

Stay tuned for Part 2, How to reduce your online footprint

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