Whenever we navigate websites, we might be leaving traces on the internet, also called ‘digital footprint.’ Some of the traces can be tracked down quickly in a database, and other people can potentially see some. Therefore, we should be aware of the trial that we are leaving behind and the possible effects if the data is shared.
When we browse through websites, retailers and product review sites often track our movement from site to site by leaving cookies.
Accepting the cookies allows targeted advertisements to show you the products you have been reading about or looking at online recently. Such cookies can be vulnerable to our privacy, especially when criminals have access to our private info. Hence, we should educate young children to have a sense of awareness before allowing cookies to track their browsing histories.
With new technologies propelling, more features on social media platforms are added, requiring us to expand our understanding of privacy. Another example of us leaving a digital footprint is through the Snap Map. A newly added feature in Snapchat allows users to view snaps, stories, friends, and places on the map. Many youngsters choose their location to be shown to their entire friend list for fun and convenience. Some of them also posted stories in the feature where it is open to strangers across the globe! While Snap Map locations may seem like a simple way to show friends your whereabouts at first, there are many potential risks of exposing your area online. To be specific, not ‘every’ friend on Snapchat is someone you can trust. Strangers could abuse this feature to pose as a friend and stalk teenagers online, and, in the worst case, carry out illegal acts to harm teens. As a result, adults must acknowledge the danger of leaving traces of information online and spread this awareness to young people to ensure that they limit location sharing on social media sites.