digital footprint (DF)
Digital footprints or data shadows are traces left by users ofdigitalmedia and social networks. All activities from all devices, from desktops and notebooks, smartphones and tablets leave digital footprints. These footprints, created by browsing, for example, consist of digital data that may be traceable back to the individual user. Digital footprint management (DFM) is one approach to controlling this personal data.
Because digital footprints are created by actions such as browsing websites, shopping in online stores, commenting on blogs, posting on social media, or uploading photos and videos, they can be used against the user's will and have adverse effects. For example, in job applications or promotions. They can also expose vulnerabilities tohackers or be used for identity theft.
With the rapidly increasing number of appliances, for example in the smart home or smart grid, users are constantly creating more digital footprints that attackers can use for their own purposes. Digital footprints are constantly present and can be very difficult to eliminate. They can be copied and used by others. Therefore, digital footprint management focuses on limiting data footprints and deciding which data footprints are available online.
Digital footprint management (DFM) is about cleaning up the digital footprint by deleting photos, videos and content that reveal too much personal information. Furthermore, users should be careful about who they authorize and allow access to, they should keep an eye on third-party comments, and they should make personal profiles available only to good acquaintances.