Your digital footprint will increasingly be used to make judgements about you; politically, financially and commercially and so it is really important to be mindful of it and proactive in your management of it.
If you value your privacy it is important to consider all the information about you that is generated, stored and tracked and consider its potential impact.
How big an issue is it?
How much you care about your online privacy is personal but it is worth exploring how much is gathered in order to help you decide whether you want to take more action to protect it.
To gain some insight about the types of data Facebook and Google collect about you take a look at this informative Twitter thread by Dylan Curran .
If you want to discover the data Facebook holds about you then you can now download it using their self-service tool
If you want to discover what Google holds use Google Takeout. You may be amazed.
Here are some links to guidance on doing this.
What are cookies, what are they used for and how do they impact on my privacy?
Cookies are small files which are stored on your computer and hold data relating to a specific website. They collect data about your behaviour for their own purposes and that of their advertising partners. Cookies may collect data about how you use the site and your preferences. This may be share with advertising partners (who will have their own cookies) or other data companies. It can be used to sell you things or ideas.
Good things about cookies:
Improved user experience and functionality. They can help websites function better for you and make your interactions with frequently used sites smoother. Online shopping would be a much poorer experience without them.
Bad things about cookies:
Cookies help build a picture of your browsing habits for big business and government leading to targeted advertising and content.
How you respond to cookies depends how you feel about your privacy! Although they have to seek your consent you are sometimes left with little choice if you want to access content.
You can view cookies maintained by your web browser, change the settings on your browser and delete cookies too. You can change your cookie settings on different apps and websites. Think about what you are agreeing to as there are usually options as to whether to accept just functional cookies or targeted ones - check out the options if you are concerned. Read some cookie policies - you may be astounded at the number of cookies, their duration and number of advertising partners.