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5. Visualize Your Digital Footprint Wrap-Up

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In this lesson, you brainstormed the kinds of actions that people take online that leave a digital footprint.

You worked with your group in a spreadsheet to make a list of actions that actively contribute to a person’s digital footprint. You also learned about cookies, browser history, geolocation, and metadata, which are less obvious ways that people add to their digital footprints.

Then, you painted a picture of your own digital footprint using conditional formatting.

Compare footprints with your group. What are some things that you all do online?

What kind of data is left behind when you do those things?

Then, think about your digital footprint as a whole. If all someone knows about you is the data in your digital footprint, what impression would that person have about you?

Lots of people may look at parts of your digital footprint. For example, college admissions officers, sports coaches, employers, or even criminals might look at your online activity to find out more about you.

You may want to make an effort to create a smaller digital footprint and take less action online. Or, you may want to add more information to your digital footprint so you can share things you want people to know about you.

For instance, you can shape your digital footprint in a positive way by creating a blog or website that showcases your work and interests.

Sharing this kind of information helps people know who you are, what you care about, and what you’ve accomplished. Everyone who uses the internet has a digital footprint. There are many online resources to help you learn ways to reduce your digital footprint and limit the amount of information you share online or enhance your online presence.

By painting a picture of your digital footprint, you become aware of the information you are leaving behind, who is collecting it, and why, and you can make informed decisions about the information you share online.

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