Following your footprints

Your digital footprint: Following your digital footprints

Most public areas now have some sort of CCTV system. Digital images from these can be stored for some time, especially if they are filming any sort of protest march or large gathering. The police and other government agencies can have access to these images, so it is worthwhile considering who will be watching you as you make your views known. In one case, a young man ended up on the sex offenders register when he could not find a convenient toilet. He was included for exposing his genitalia in a public place!

Activity: Look at your mobile phone. Do you have GPRS switched on? It is usually shown by small letters beside your signal strength icon. Did you realise that your whereabouts can be tracked as you move about? Do you want them to be? If not, reset the options on your phone and save them.

When you browse the internet, some providers note your browsing history and use the information for marketing and other purposes. It can be worthwhile to look at the privacy settings on your browser and search engine, and read the small print when choosing an internet service provider.

Internet shopping is very convenient, but many sites will ask you if they can store your credit card details for future use. Think carefully about this before you say yes. There have been several recent incidents where financial details have been stolen by hackers. It can be safer to use a third party system like PayPal, where the vendor never sees your financial information.