You don’t know someone until you have walked in their footprints. Unfortunately this can be used against people by hackers and by people analysing your personal data.
Whether it’s a social media post, an email to a teammate, or even a search engine query, every operation you do online leaves a “digital footprint,” which may be linked back to you. Tracing and analysing your online behaviour, as well as creating a unique profile of you, is possible because of your digital footprint.
Businesses use your footprint to reach you with customised deals and ads, social networking sites use it to categorise users into certain groups, and employers search the internet for information about you before they interview you in person. This technology is also well used in dating sites and apps to match the person to their prospective partner, it is common in a lot of different sectors and can be a very powerful tool.
Suppose you’re strolling down the beach on a warm summer’s day. You leave a trail of impressions with every step you take. When you do this every day, your footprints will soon become more permanent and a path will be formed. You can see where you’ve been and where you’re going to. Signing up, signing in, or sending a message all leave a trail. Unfortunately, tides don’t wash away these kinds of tracks. Hence the need of making well-informed choices regarding what to communicate, how to communicate and who to communicate with.
Your private life may be revealed to others by the tiniest piece of evidence left behind by your actions and words on the internet or your mobile device. One method marketers, merchants, and employers may learn more about you is via your internet presence. When it comes to the internet, your digital footprints are all over the place.
As an applicant, you should be just as worried about what information a fast web search of your name could yield as being concerned about a well-crafted cover letter and resume. It’s vital to be reminded that although this may be frightening, it’s also a tremendous opportunity. Yet, you may utilise your digital footprint to establish your own personal brand if they have a favorable digital imprint in the future.
Have you seen well crafted digital personas? There are companies that can search through all your social media posts from years and years ago, to build up a personality of you, then show you what to delete and what to remove. You can build up a fake personality online so that your online presence is more appealing to employers and prospective partners.
Who wants to see that drunken party photo, when they might prefer to see you holding that dog, playing with that dolphin or supporting your local community?