What is a Digital Footprint? – How to Manage Your Online Presence

digital footprint

Many people like saying that when you put something on the Internet, it stays on there forever. In fact, it’s true that everything you do online leaves a small digital footprint of your real identity. Every time you’ve opened up a site or app, you’ve left a little telltale sign of who you are and what your preferences are. 

In today’s overexposed era, it’s crucial to keep your identity and interests far from the prying eyes of the online world. So, how do we leave these tracks online, and what can you do to minimize your online presence? Read this Zlog post and find out.

How do We Leave Digital Footprints?

Even if a quick Google search doesn’t give out a significant batch of your data, there’s likely a lot more information about you available online than you realize. This is because you leave an online trace in more ways than one. More specifically, there are two primary types of digital footprints:

  • Active Digital Footprint – Active footprints are those you leave by willingly engaging in activities that leave a visible online trace. For example, this can include participating in online quizzes and forms, sharing pictures, statuses, and everything else that you do manually.
  • Passive Digital Footprint – Oppositely to active footprints, you don’t necessarily have to do anything in particular to leave a passive footprint. For instance, you prefer reading news from a specific site or using one primary type of browser. Some more infamous examples of passive are apps that harvest and monitor your activities, interests, and IP address.

How to Minimize Your Digital Footprint

With all of the information above in mind, it’s clear that the best way to minimize your digital footprint and ensure online privacy is to limit the amount of data other online users can access on you. Since you leave an online trace in many different ways, there are also many various means of minimizing your digital footprint. Let’s take a close look at some of the most efficient ones:

Set Custom Privacy Settings On All Apps and Profiles

People tend to share much more private information on social media platforms than they realize. The first step towards obtaining your privacy and minimizing your online footprint is to private your profiles. That way, you’re blocking anyone you don’t know from accessing your pictures or any relevant information they could obtain.

Double-check the apps you have to see what type of privacy settings you have and further limit the information you share. If you have an app installed on your device that you no longer use, make sure to delete it. In line with that, close any accounts you’re not using anymore.

Always Update Your Devices

Waiting for updates to download and install is a bit annoying. But, a couple of minutes of inconvenience is a small price to pay to ensure data privacy and security. Always make sure to install the latest updates when prompted. 

Developers always work to improve security and privacy settings with every new update. If you’re operating an older version of particular software, you’re increasing your chances of leaking data.

Use a VPN to Encrypt Your Activities

While you’re the one who has to keep close control of your active footprint, a VPN can help you on the other front. It can help minimize your passive footprint by routing your connection through an encrypted tunnel. Moreover, it also switches up your IP address in the process. 

All of the data you would be leaking passively is under a tight lock when you use a VPN. Advertisers, third-party users, hackers, and even your ISP can’t see into your real network when connected to a VPN server.
For this to be true, it’s critical to choose a reliable and proven VPN service. At ZoogVPN, we provide you with a top-quality VPN service packed with all of the necessary tools you need to safeguard your digital privacy. We also offer a limited free subscription plan, which you can use to test our service for an indefinite period before committing to one of our premium plans. Sign up with ZoogVPN and reduce your digital footprint right away!