The Online Reputation Management Blog

Natalie Reyes

Natalie Reyes is a nonprofit communications professional with a background in international development and political advocacy.

7 min read

What is a digital footprint? 

A digital footprint is the impression you create on the internet through your online activity, which includes browsing, interactions with others, and publication of content. In other words, it is the trail of data – intentional and unintentional - you leave behind while surfing the internet.

When people think of a digital footprint they usually think "cookie". When a site you visit drops a "cookie" in your browser, it contributes to your digital footprint because it allows marketers, and others, to follow you around. But a digital footprint can include much more.

Digital footprint examples include the following:

  • The type of browser you are using (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.)
  • Your screen resolution
  • Your IP address
  • The kind of computer you are using
  • Your operating system
  • and more

When you write, or type, you use a pattern unique to you. Writers have a "fingerprint". The words you use, your punctuation, the subject matter, all help to identify you. Combine that with IP address, cookies, and other identifiers and you can see how your digital "footprint" may be a lot larger than you thought.