A few years ago there was no such thing as a social media presence. In fact, social media wasn’t even invented yet. The most advance thing that was out there was text messages. Did you send text messages to your crush from your parent’s phone? We see you, don’t run away.

Fast forward to 2020. We have smart phones that are touch screen. Multiple apps. Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, WhatsApp, WeChat and so many others. We are in the mist of telecommunication revolution. We communicate on so many different social media platforms. Reaching a range of people all around the world. By the touch of a finger you have access to the whole world.

Digital footprint or digital shadow refers to one’s unique set of traceable digital activities, actions, contributions and communications manifested on the Internet or on digital devices. Yes, your tablet counts too even if you only have a reading app on it. Android or Console, we are all affected.

There are many dangers when posting, commenting and tagging each other in posts. Let’s have a look at some of the harming dangers surrounding your digital footprint:

Bullying is an old tired word that we thought got left on the playground? Not necessarily, it has just moved to a different platform. No longer physical bullying but cyber bullying and stalkers. I’m sure we have all heard the phrase “bite your tongue”. This is not the case as some bullies scrutinise every move, every post, every comment of the digital “footprinter”. Leaving detrimental self-confidence to the digital “footprinter”.

Catfishes! People pretend to be someone that they aren’t and luring someone else into a relationship. No, it’s not just like the show on MTV. It is real. Catfishes reuse someone else images to lure you into whatever they need. They make things highly believable and could possibly be a predator.

Predators lure you beyond your screen. Using your vulnerability and what you have told them, they make you meet up with them. These interactions often lead to human trafficking, sex trading or even worse, murder. Don’t let your activity put you in grave danger!

Posting your location is hazardous. We want to showcase that we have been to this place and that place but be conscientious of what you are posting. Anyone could be watching.

Identity theft is a serious issue. Not to be confused with catfishing. Identity theft is where someone actively has access to your personal information and uses it to access things such as your bank account and social media accounts.

Have you ever accidently gone into a website and now you have a virus? Scams and spam are one thing we need to worry about. They seek your personal information and constantly leave pop ups.

It is sad that the world we live in requires something to be put onto social media for it to be considered valid. When did be become this distrustful in each other that we cannot take someone’s word for it?

Ask yourself, what is my digital footprint. What am I leaving behind me? Are you one of those people that post about every single thing that happens in their daily lives? Every minute, every second in the day. Or are you one of those people that will only post when your app tells you, “You need to update your profile”. Either way, you are leaving a footprint. What are you leaving behind?

Link to Your Digital Footprint Matters: