The Power of the Digital Footprint

What You Leave Behind Online and Why You Should Care

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The National Guard

Cybersecurity students have been learning about the components of a person’s “digital footprint,” but what exactly is a “digital footprint?”

“Your digital footprint is everything that is out on the internet. It’s your pictures, it’s what your searching, it’s your social media…” explained Mr. Winn, one of A-TECH’s cybersecurity teachers.

Why should you care about your digital footprint?

“When you get old enough to get a job, a lot of the businesses will look at your digital footprint- go out and see what your social media says, what your pictures are- and if they aren’t the right kind then they won’t hire you.”

A strong digital footprint is one of the major factors companies examine during their recruiting process. That being said, there are also some dangers in the digital world and precautions we need to take.

“At your age, you know you could have strange people looking for kids on the internet, and they could be pretending to be another young person to lure you into something bad. So you kind of have to protect your digital footprint and make sure it’s not something that you don’t want other people to see,” said Mr. Winn.

“It’s pretty interesting, but also pretty scary,” said Yesenia Herrera, a freshman and cybersecurity major. “It tracks everything you search: all your history, and social media.”

That being said, it can be difficult to determine exactly what one’s digital footprint should look like. One major recommendation is to not post pictures of that aren’t appropriate, personal details regarding finances or residency, etc.  It’s important to remember that whether or not you delete something, it will always leave a shadow in the ether of the internet. The consensus is that as long as your internet usage is appropriate and you behave cordially online, your digital footprint should lead the way to success.