CyberSafe and Savvy Tip 12: Controlling Our Digital Footprints

I rechecked my digital footprint earlier today, you know…my personal data tail. We all have one. Everything we do that involves the digital world, leaves behind a mark, a virtual footprint that we were there. It’s truly everything from using email, to snapping a digital picture, to buying something online, to going through a toll in your car and having it paid automatically via the device on your windshield.

You add that up all those digital actions and  you have your digital footprint!

My digital footprint has increased by 100 Billion Byes of information in 2 years – staggering, I know! Check this out:



You can calculate digital footprint, too. The EMC calculator that’s shown above is really fun and takes you through every possible digital activity you might use in a given day. What I love about it is it has a ticker that you can run on your desk top so you can see just how quickly your digital footprint accumulates each day.

I also really like the Discover Channel’s Digital Footprint Calculator. This tools is really fun because it takes you through a typical work day and helps you see where you can cut down on your digital trail. In my first pass, I had a very solid digital presence – a score of 22 which the calculator listed as “moderate”. When I redid the program, I made different choices and decreased my score to 2, which was almost completely off the digital grid!  Play around yourself and have your kids give it a try. It’s a really fun way to learn how you can control your digital lives.

That is the bottom line, after all – controlling our digital lives. We live in a digital world and it is so easy to just go through each day mindlessly clicking away with each device we fine useful for the task at hand. With a little bit of insight, though, we can build in just enough of of a pause to make a significant impact in the digital trail we leave behind that day. If we use that thinking every day, our digital footprints will be barely visible to the digital eye…which is just where we want them to be!



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