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In this video, you will learn about some of the most common ways websites collect and store information about people.

Then, you will brainstorm additional ways you leave a digital footprint and add them to your list.

When you browse the internet, websites install “cookies” that track what you are looking at.

A cookie is a message that is given to a web browser by a web server.

A cookie identifies a user and allows a business to prepare a customized web page or store information for you.

Cookies save you time loading web pages that you visit frequently.

But they also leave evidence of the sites you visited and how often, which could help others form a profile of you.

Geolocation can also add to your digital footprint. If an app or website uses geolocation, it records the exact location of your computer or mobile device.

Geolocation allows you to: get directions, find and meet up with people who are close by, track how far you've walked, or play games that involve locations.

If you post photos online that are tagged with your location, you could also unintentionally reveal where you live or when you’re not home.

You also add to your digital footprint with metadata.

Metadata is text that is written and added to web pages, images, and files so computer systems and search engines can easily find and share it.

For example, when you take a photograph and post it online, the image may contain metadata about where the photo was taken, who took it, and when it was taken, even if you don’t directly add that information yourself.

Search engines read the metadata of web pages and images and deliver results related to your search.

Metadata can make search engines work better and faster.

But it also adds to your digital footprint.

Other people can also add to your digital footprint, such as when a friend or family member tags you in a post or comment.

There are many ways that your digital footprint can grow even when you are unaware that you are leaving information behind.

Now, think about less obvious ways that you could leave digital footprints.

Add at least one way to your spreadsheet.

Finally, resize the column so you can read all the text.

Now, it’s your turn: Brainstorm ways you unintentionally leave digital footprints behind, Add at least one item to your spreadsheet, And resize the column to fit your text.


  1. Brainstorm ways you leave digital footprints behind without knowing it.
  2. Add at least one item to the spreadsheet.
  3. Resize the column to fit all of your items.