Digital Footprints. Every person who uses the internet has a digital footprint. You can compare it to your fingerprint. It is unique for every individual. An individual’s digital footprint is the information that exists on the internet as a result of their online activity.I googled “Rick Astley” this morning. This information was now added to my digital footprint. Yesterday I was tagged in a post by one of my friends. That too was added to my digital footprint. I think you’re starting to understand what this is. 

Now what if I told you there are many people interested in your digital footprint? Would you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing? Well it’s a bad thing. Advertisers and retailers use a person’s digital footprint to give that person targeted ads to boost sales. Now you may think, how are they getting this information? Well it was hidden in the terms and conditions of all the social media apps you use and the moment you clicked “Allow”, all your activity was being tracked. Most phones these days have voice activation for the personal assistant. This means your phone is always listening to you. Let me give you an example. A few days ago I was talking to my parents about a pair of shoes I wanted to purchase. The next day, when I opened Instagram, I had 4 ads on the shoe I was talking about. Feel weird yet? This is just the beginning. As more data is collected about your activity, your footprint becomes more valuable. To companies that is. They are ready to pay money for this footprint and use it to push ads your way. How much money? , you may ask. Well Google made 46.2 billion dollars in Q3 from ad revenue. So next time someone says you are worthless, tell them they’re completely wrong and that you are very valuable to companies like Google and Facebook.

In conclusion, be aware of what you use the internet for. Every move of yours is being tracked and stored for future purposes. Be careful about the content you post on social media and try using a VPN whenever you can to increase your safety.

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