Jeremy A. Lambert
Think about all the things you’ve used your Internet for in the past 24 hours. You’ve probably checked your email, updated your Facebook status, paid some bills through online banking, read up on the latest news, and took the time before bed to video chat with a far-flung childhood friend. Even after logging out and turning off your computer, the information you’ve just accessed or created continues to wander the great plains of the World Wide Web. This information that we leave behind about ourselves on a daily basis is known as our digital footprint.
Like stepping in wet concrete, these trails we unwittingly leave behind can be tough to erase. With the rise of identity theft, corporate tracking, and the ability of “Big Brother” to access our private data, it is more important than ever for Internet users to be aware of how past and future data can be erased and controlled more effectively.
How Big is My Footprint?
To truly understand just how big your digital footprint is, there are several tools available that can be easily accessed and added to your computer for constant monitoring and control.
Google is one of the most commonly accused mediums for collecting our data, and rightfully so. That ad that just popped up on your GMail page for cookbooks does indeed have something to do with your search for a killer Spam recipe for last Sunday’s tailgate party.
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