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An illustration of a digital footprint.
What does your digital footprint reveal about you?

Find out about your digital footprint

Your digital footprint refers to a digital collection of data that can be traced back to you.

This includes:

  1. Primary information shared directly. Primary information refers to information you have shared to access services or posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, emails, phone calls, and chats for example. This involves personal identifiable, sensitive, or other information you have shared to access services.
  2. Secondary information gathered through your activities. This is information that you have not shared directly. It’s often related to your online activities such as browsing, purchasing, website visits and searches. It can be collected without you knowing, perhaps as a result of other people sharing information.

What can we do to control the information we share?

  1. Google your name. See what comes up, is anything surprising?

  2. If you have Facebook, download your profile using this guide.

  3. If you have Twitter, download your profile using this guide.

  4. If you have Twitter, check your secondary footprint: compare what you’ve shared/deleted on Twitter to what is available about you - possibly from others’ sharing.

In the next step, you’ll compare what you learnt about your profile with your own classification of your attitude to privacy, based on the answers you gave in Step 1.3.

If you’d like to modify your privacy online, have a look at the links we offer in the ‘See also’ section for help with Facebook and Twitter.

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This article is from the free online course:

Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, in Life

Newcastle University

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: