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Internet footprint

What you should know.

Computer, mobile, tablet

The dark web

The media make digital footprint sound mysterious and draws our interest with copies of new games and films and Wikipedia answering all those questions you have. It is outside of the normal internet traffic for a reason:

  • it is not safe
  • it is not monitored
  • you are not protected

If you access it you can, there are many guides loaded by the people who operate on it to draw young people over with proxies and software add ons. Beware you can bring back, onto your PC, far more than you expected in a bad way and these people can create a link to you and your PC like the tentacles of an octopus, reaching you at any time from anywhere.

Do you really want someone in the background of your PC watching your every move? Be warned, Be safe, Stay away.

If you have a concern, contact  Childline on 0800 1111.

The internet offers us an amazing opportunity to link up with many people across the world, access great resources and have the freedom to explore but it is important you respect the power of the internet.

What is a digital footprint?

A digital footprint is data that is left behind when users have been online. There are two types of digital footprints:

  • passive
  • active


Made when information is collected from the user without the person knowing this is happening.


Where the user has deliberately shared information about themselves either by using social media sites or by using a website.

Have you been stomping all over the internet? Then check out the following sites:

Ask yourself are you proud of your digital footprint?

Remember to: Think before you click.

  • it doesn't take long to think about the implications and consequences of what you're about to do; there is really no such thing as an 'erase button'
  • if you know it is wrong in the real world, then it is also wrong in the digital world.
  • you cannot hide your digital footprint.
  • a 'cloak of invisibility' is a myth!

Remember: What you post remains on the internet; it is never deleted there will always be a trail!

  • never post when you are angry and upset, however tempting it may be, what you send will always be there like words etched into a rock you may not care now, you will later, it could impact on your future employers know how to check social media sites or think ahead it could be read in years to come by your own children.


Beware, especially if you are feeling upset or dealing with a lot of stress at home, not to share that feeling online. There are people searching sites for the vulnerable and scared and the number of cases are increasing. If you need to talk to someone and cannot talk to your parents (a adult looking after you) or another family member, try a teacher at school or if there is no one speak to Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website »

Do not seek help from people you do not know online. They will not have your best interest at heart and will try to draw you in.

Even if you think this will never happen to you, you are too smart, they know every trick be on your guard.


  • if you take pictures and post them online they could end up anywhere
  • your security settings are only as good as your friends, once your posts or messages and pictures are shared online
  • be honest and ask yourself do you really know and trust them all with your information?
  • remember the law is different depending on your age, sending images of yourself, boyfriend/girlfriend which you would deem to be personal over the internet could be a criminal offence if you are under 18.
  • You could be charged with circulating child pornography. Google it - there are cases out there and the numbers are growing.
  • if you have been involved in sexting and are concerned over what has been posted, seek help and sort it now.
  • do not download anything that you are not 100 percent certain of the content
  • ignorance is never an excuse
  • if you open something on your computer you are liable for the content
  • be warned, be vigilant
  • if you are sent something that is too good to be true do not download it, it will be a hoax or spyware or something a lot worse

Four digital Ds to being digitally smart

  1. Decide - think about where you surf the net, what you share - it is out there forever.
  2. Details - think about what personal information you share online and who you are sharing it with.
  3. Damage - think about what you post. Will it cause damage?
  4. Delete - if you are concerned, press delete and seek help and advice immediately.

The internet offers so much if you just keep digitally smart. You would not stand in the middle of a shopping centre with a megaphone and shout out all your personal information so why would you do it on the internet?

Content credited to: Hillingdon resident aged 17.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 22 Oct 2018 at 12:44