Tools to measure your digital footprint

Tools to measure your digital footprint

Okay for everyone who just wants the EMC tool you can download it here.

I’ve heard the term digital footprint used a couple of different ways. Technically speaking, it’s the electronic evidence left online (or on your hard drive) when you use a computer. In social media terms your digital footprint shows up wherever you interact with others, on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, forums…well you understand. We know that creating and managing your personal brand is an important key to professional success. Having a strong digital footprint in the right places is an important part of that brand.

For the technical folks out there, again I want to emphasize I’m talking about a general footprint, not the actual data collected by others when you go to a website or visit a blog. (For a rather paranoid measurement of a technical digital footprint you can use the Discovery channel tool. But be warned it’s a bit scary with all the references to Big Brother and such.)

Of course the easiest way to check is to do a Google search on yourself and any other related terms like your business name. EMC has a tool that asks a long series of detailed questions regarding your use of email, photo uploads, social media and all kinds of activities resulting in a measurement of your digital footprint that goes way beyond what Google will show you. Although it’s a little dated, the post about online data trails is good too.

High school seniors are probably the first to find out the downside of a bad digital footprint. Everyone has heard the stories of kids denied admission to their favorite college because of photos of not so desirable activity on a Facebook page. But beyond digital footprints that you leave “actively” there are  passive digital footprints you may now know about. Maybe the worst example was a client of ours who years ago posed as a lingerie model. Since we didn’t know her maiden name we didn’t search for any possible negative stories or photos online. However, just before she was to do a spot on national television we discovered a photographer who was selling these rather suggestive photos of our client as cellphone wallpaper. We  averted that disaster but my client ended up putting her PR campaign on hold and paying attorneys quite a bit of money to get the rights back for her photos.

I could go on an on here but instead I’m going to provide you with some great resources as you mull over the idea of reviewing, improving and perhaps (as in the case of my former client) fixing your digital footprint.

  • For a simple 8-step plan to manage your digital footprint here’s a great post from TwistImage (has more tool suggestions too)
  • A great post on the edublog Transparent Learning provides some government links and a bit of a personal story about this blogger’s attempt to figure out her digital footprint
  • For jobseekers or college-bound kids here’s a great blog post on how your digital footprint might impact you
  • And if you’re a conspiracy theorist, read this post and then do the Discovery tool and report back how we’re all going to lose every bit of privacy.

As for me, I’m glad to be one of the “people behind the people” – I’m sure there are a few things out there I don’t necessarily want others to see.  Although I doubt anyone would care too much about my skeletons in the closet.

32 Comments
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    Posted at 13:55h, 17 December Reply

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  • UK Pop Up Displays
    Posted at 11:02h, 17 June Reply

    Good share on digital footprints. What are the main uses of these foot prints?

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    Posted at 06:19h, 28 June Reply

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  • asdas
    Posted at 03:37h, 29 July Reply

    Good share on digital footprints

  • Christian
    Posted at 20:30h, 01 August Reply

    thanks for sharing on digital footprints

  • asdfsdafgg
    Posted at 00:47h, 04 August Reply

    Thank you for posting

  • Yevgeniy
    Posted at 02:57h, 03 September Reply

    Another good thing that is interesting to have is a tool for quickly collect all your digital footprints and estimate the dynamic of your brand recognizability and clients’ loyalty.

  • london charms
    Posted at 00:34h, 04 November Reply

    also work for seo . I build a lot of backlinks . The result is bad. I don’t know why is this .
    I shared your view. I hope it will give me help

  • Dave the Belize Real Estate Guy
    Posted at 06:50h, 26 November Reply

    Thank you for this. Up to now I’ve only been Googling myself and my business, but this tool can give a much more thorough overview and also lets me drill down in certain areas. Great work!

  • Custom Display
    Posted at 00:38h, 07 February Reply

    I cannot agree more. As our children are exposed to using computers from a young age, they should also be taught about the importance of being smart with their web presence because these days, we are encouraged to add a lot of photos, personal info, blogs, etc. onto the internet.

  • Dougie Brisbane
    Posted at 21:25h, 07 February Reply

    Not only that, there are many ‘offline’ tools to help you improve your digital footprints, such as publishing your trails on business cards, in CD or DVD formats, and even brochures and posters. You just need to be creative about it.

  • insurance license
    Posted at 10:02h, 17 February Reply

    Thank you for this post, as well as including the link to TwistImage’s 8 steps post. Both of these provided great insight.

  • Kathy
    Posted at 22:12h, 30 March Reply

    I must say, I personally gain more enjoyment from the use of words. Digital footprint. Now, if this is not a new buzz word then I will go jumping. It is snappy and clever. Tools to measure out footprints now this will have many administrators jumping for glee.

  • Roy
    Posted at 00:40h, 13 April Reply

    Digital footprints are always something to consider both in terms of your private life and business. I first became fully aware of the potential problem when I noticed that a couple of people were copying what I did business wise. I was just revealing too much too quickly in either Facebook or Twitter so have scrapped both as I could never pin down which was being used.

  • Dell Laptop Service Chennai
    Posted at 16:26h, 13 May Reply

    first time i am hearing about digital footprint, thanks for sharing on digital footprints

  • Mike Stoner
    Posted at 03:17h, 27 May Reply

    Digital footprints are an unmistakable ingredient toward building a successful brand. Perhaps that failed attempt in the form of blogs, webpages and the various social networks may inevitably become a vice to success. “How to build your digital footprint in 8 easy steps” is a good contribution with respect to this topic. On a personal level image, reputation and a sense of identity is built; this should certainly be cross applied to businesses and brands alike. It is a clear reminder that business owners (regardless of specialisms) should make building a desired digital footprint a top priority – especially when it provides a boost toward marketing, sales and an eventually growing client base due to raised awareness.

  • Your Money
    Posted at 07:47h, 27 May Reply

    I didn’t the onlince test for the first one and it is quite scary just how much people can be monitored

  • Scott
    Posted at 14:30h, 16 June Reply

    I have heard of the term “carbon footprint” but never “digital footprint”. I wonder if the next concern will be our “digital carbon footprint”! 🙂 Anyway, I learned something new. Thanks. And I guess this comment is expanding my digital footprint… 🙂 Scott

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    Posted at 20:44h, 19 October Reply

    Yeah, it’s pretty cool to have the internet. Fast information that is a few clicks away, sadly its biggest positive is also one of its biggest negative. Good press spreads out fast, bad press spreads out even faster. So we have to be careful on what we put out there, we may never take it back.

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    Posted at 06:28h, 07 November Reply

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  • john
    Posted at 04:06h, 01 December Reply

    If you have done nothing wrong, what,s the worry about.

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  • emergency light
    Posted at 07:30h, 05 March Reply

    I recently found the application well written and then quickly logical. I must personally we appreciate the time you devote to create the application.

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    Posted at 12:32h, 24 May Reply

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  • Britannia Inks
    Posted at 22:03h, 23 April Reply

    Think of all the things you use the Internet in the past 24 hours. You may check your email, update your Facebook, via online banking to pay some bills, read the latest news, or video chat before going to bed and a childhood friend …… even if you log off and shut down the computer, you just access or information created, continue to wander in the Great Plains of the World Wide Web. We do every day to leave their information is called a digital footprint.

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