Your Digital Footprints From Today And Their Future Consequences


We live in a modern society which for the most part operates on electronic services. You may not give it much thought, but nearly everything you do in this modern age leaves digital footprints behind – most of which are stored and saved – perhaps ‘forever’.

Right now, YOUR name is no doubt on many lists, in many places, with all sorts of information and profiles about YOU.

You might not be too concerned about it, and that is understandable given the normalcy of today’s electronic commerce, communications, and the surveillance state we live in. We’re getting used to it. We have been conditioned to accept it. What you don’t know however is HOW the information will be utilized in the FUTURE. Our personal and ‘private’ data (digital footprints) is collected, saved, and sold – even to the government.

While you may feel confident TODAY that ‘the system’ is doing nothing unscrupulous with your digital footprints – after all, you’re doing nothing wrong, right? However you need to know that what you don’t know is what you don’t know. And how do you know that ‘the system’ will not one day use or interpret your digital footprints in a crooked, corrupt, or even illegal way in the future? Maybe what you’re doing today will even be illegal in the future… You just don’t know.

‘They’ know what you buy, where and when you bought it, what you read, subscriptions, prescriptions, what you search on the internet, who you call, your emails, your Facebook, social media, the foods you eat and drink, what you browse, the pictures you upload, anything you upload, the TV shows you watch, your travel habits, your circle of friends, surveillance, and on and on and on…

What ‘they’ know about you is far more vast than you may realize (or even care about), but the fact is – they do know.

Is this really a privacy concern for you? Do you really even care?

First let’s ask, who are ‘they’? They are ‘big business’ and ‘.gov’

What you need to realize is that business and government are intertwined. Big time. I believe that many people instinctively know this to be true today. What you may not realize though is that the merger of state and corporate powers is called fascism. That’s right, fascism.

The policies and programs of government often work hand in hand with corporate powers in order to control you. You may not think you’re being controlled, but oh yes, you are. It begins with knowing all there is to know about you. While there’s no stopping the way it is for the majority, there are things that you can do to minimize or control your digital footprints.

It’s nearly impossible to keep your life private today. It would be very difficult for most people to adapt a way of life which leaves hardly any footprints. With that said, there are some ordinary habits that you can get into so as to be more aware of the digital footprints you’re leaving behind in your everyday life.

First, you must realize that you ARE leaving a digital trail behind. Footprints. You must recognize the specific things you’re doing that are leaving footprints. In many instances it may be impossible to avoid (or impractical) – and that’s okay so long as you are AWARE, and therefore able to be mindful of what you’re doing.

For example, I am leaving footprints ‘forever’ right now, by writing this article and posting it on the internet. I also know that what I write is forming a ‘dossier’, a profile, on me. (Too late for that ;) ). But by being AWARE, I am making choices.

In no particular order:

Your computer or smart phone (even at work). EVERYTHING that you connect with is ‘tied’ to an IP address, and even a specific identifier from your specific device hardware (MAC address – Media Access Control Address). In other words, ‘they’ know it’s YOU. The things you do on that computer (send, download, etc..) which go out on the internet are traceable to YOU. The things you search, the emails you type, etc..

Be especially vigilant when you’re using a service that is free. It’s not free for nothing. They are likely collecting even more information about you in trade for it being free (did you read the terms of service? No one does…).

Posting pictures. There are a zillion social apps out there which people use to post pictures – some people almost constantly throughout their day. Did you know that almost all photo-taking devices (e.g. your smart phone, most all new cameras, etc..) have GPS geo-tagging built in? That means that when and where you took that photo is publicly available data which is very easy to retrieve from most of your pictures. This may seem innocuous, and perhaps often it is (harmless), but you need to know that this is what’s happening. For example, someone may be able to find where you live by simply extracting the metadata from a photo you posted online.

Smart phone apps. No one ever reads the terms of use when downloading a cell phone app. If you did, you would discover that you are agreeing to nearly every single one of them to give the app access to nearly everything on your phone, including your GPS location, your address book, your messaging, etc.. What do you think they’re doing with this information?! Think about it. Your information is going into databases to be stored, saved, used for marketing, or sold (for whatever reason). Again, you may think it to be harmless, but I suggest that you think about it…

Facebook, Social sites. Think about this: Next time you apply for a different job, that employer WILL look you up online. Facebook is always the first place they turn. So think twice about posting what you post there. They will also look at your family and friends on Facebook to discover more about YOU. They will also ‘Goolge’ you to discover whatever else they might find. These digital footprints last forever. Think about it.

You need to accept that in today’s modern world, that there are many many entities ‘listening’. They’re tracking you and what you do. You need to THINK about ‘how it looks’ and how it may affect your personal digital profile – because what you’re doing is ‘connected’ to YOU.

Again, in many or even most instances your digital footprint may seem or be perfectly harmless – but if you get in the HABIT of awareness, it makes you think about it.

This is the world we live in. Convenience sometimes comes with a price tag.

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  1. yes to all you stated. I am not on much digital wise, but I still worry. there are many ways one is “caught up” in the digital world, which are “sneaky”, and seemingly innocent, but I believe can be concerning, down the line.

    a big one, which has worried me for a few years now, is all of this “online medical info”/computerized health records/computerized test results/doctors who put info/thoughts into a patients (on line) medical record/etc..

    in North America (yes both United States and Canada), over the past few years, I have seen in the news, at LEAST fifteen to twenty reports of “thefts” of laptops, (supposedly from Doctors’ possession/cars), which said laptops had downloaded entire hospital databases. some from past ten years, some from the entire data base which was on computer. Reasons released in news for “why” said Doctors had downloaded info to their laptops generally ran along lines of “was “thinking” of doing a research article an x, y, or z.. Well, to my thinking that does not hold water…as you would only need limited downloads for a particular research paper.

    these downloads/theft of laptops with data bases on them, had entire medical histories/tests/doctors notes/nurses notes/and all identifying info…even addresses…

    These events happened at major hospitals in both United States and Canada
    (and why not at some small community hospital with limited computer info????)

    anyway, it seems no charges have been laid against the Doctors who downloaded (as I heard/read each incident in news, I would keep an eye out), and vague promises of “tighter” download rules.

    it seems likely this info was/is being downloaded to sell, but to who?

  2. @Anon not to belittle what you said by any means (because it’s GREAT & no one seems to pay attention to this) but I had to snicker a bit at your comments. primarily because my parents’ doctor is very protective of such things. He refuses to put medical records & information online & has as little interaction with a computer as he can in order to protect his patients (He also uses the argument of what happens during an emergency in a blackout? Online only records leave you with an allergic reaction!). But my parents are still recovering from an identity theft due to their medical records being stolen. How? He put the files of the people being treated later in the day by a window & someone broke the window & stole the files. The files were found (minus SS#s, etc) in the trashcan nearby…

    1. great to see/hear of one doctor who has some concerns re electronic safety.

      too bad about your parents identity theft…a bizarre way for them to have their identity stolen..

      and you’re right, nothing is impermeable, guaranteed safe, however, at least it was just your parents identity stolen, likely to use their credit cards/take out loans, etc…

      with these mass thefts, where total data bases are stolen (sold?), I keep wondering why?

      – ready supply of cross tissue matching in case important persons need transplants?

      -info for insurers? both for life and health insurance, to let them decide ahead of time who to insure?

      -info for employers to make decisions on future employees?

      -info for genetic susceptibility / genetic excellence for x,y,z ???

      -secretly assess results of some long term effects of x,y,z???

      Someone wants this info, someone is likely paying big bucks for said info.


  3. Now that we know and are aware of this situation how do we upend it. Surely there is plenty of money to be made from the average persons wishing to keep thieir lives to themselves. What about cloaking software.
    Why do I have to be identified on the internet? Who wrote that rule? How do we skuttle the survalence? I don’t buy into the save and share theory for everything I do. I don’t invite them into my life. At best they slip in through overwelming fine print in odius user agreements that I have no choice but to “agree” or not use. These contracts are not even real contracts and operate in the backwater of legalality. Surely the second lowest form of agreement behind someone having a gun to your head. Thanks for keeping this in our minds Ken. We need to fine a way to skuttle this system.

  4. I applied for insurance today and I was startled. When someone types in my SS # at this open place for applying, my history, my loans, what bank, how much, and when they were taken out automatically showed up. It showed the places I lived, who I was with, my truck, license #, how much I earned, all the places I worked at the last few years, how much I made per hour, and estimates what I will make next year.. shoot, everything about me.

    The lady whom I had an appointment described what type of person I was before I started the application process. She said I was like someone in those Alaskan wilderness shows and knew I was skilled to take on the forest for survival like using a chainsaw and cutting down trees. I never met her before and she said she never met me either, but she sure had a lot of personal info on me. I suspect there are personal files on everyone accessible to anyone.

  5. And just like digital images can be altered by “photoshop” type programs, so can your digital information be altered by others.

    Totalitarian regimes love this digital information. They can use the current information and then alter it to suit – particularly if they don’t like you.

  6. Well, I now know at least one good thing that would result from a massive EMP. It would burn out all these computers with all of our information stored inside. We would then get our privacy back! There is always a silver lining in a storm cloud!

  7. My laptop is aluminum. If it’s closed it’s a faraday cage. It will survive the emp as others built the same.

    1. Your laptop will NOT survive an EMP.
      Look at the sides. See the openings for power, data connection,USB and others?
      Now look at how the halves fit together. See the joint?
      1/2 a volt will blow out the CPU.
      Find a metal container. The ammo can sort where the lid is pulled tight by the fastening device and has a gasket.
      Now take some HVAC type aluminum tape and wrap the gasket with it. The 2 halves MUST be 100% in contact.
      Put he laptop in a cardboard box and seal it with a non-conductive tape. Again, no openings. Put the box in the ammo can and your laptop may survive an EMP.
      You wil also need to consider a way to charge it and protect that method.

    2. Hope you have a really big battery and that the rest of the internet world is already in a Faraday cage.

  8. Think of your online activity like walking through the woods on or off trail. There are folks out there who know how to expertly “track” you and could do so if given a good enough reason.

    Where we have issues these days is when police state agencies consider “preppers” a new and credible threat or those types of individuals who prepare for an emergency and do not want to rely on Gov’t agencies the likes of FEMA.

    I strongly encourage anyone with half an interest to go out and learn about retired NSA expert Bill Binney and Thomas Drake. There are amazing interviews with these guys online. They were the original whistleblowers before Snowdon and knew exactly where the government was getting out of control with police state tactics like data mining and mapping people with their online activity WITHOUT warrants.

    IMHO – Focusing solely on making yourself totally anonymous is just wasted effort. There is a reason for the saying “security through obscurity” and an example is what is in plain site of us on a given day. I can easily recall Anna Champman, the Russian spy in NY disguised as a quasi-successful business woman. She didn’t hide from Linkedin and social media. Instead, she and her fellow spies hid in plain view.

    I’m not saying go out and get into social media or give up your personal information, but think long and hard before you give personal info up when it comes to technology.

    And, if you still want attempt to be totally anonymous, there’s so much information out there on doing this it isn’t even funny. Simply using a Tor Browser and a VPN or Proxy will put you ahead of 95% of everyone else online, especially if you have multiple personas.

    Now tracking you through the woods becomes a lot harder because you’ve setup fake tracks along bogus trails…

    1. Thanks, I appreciate your advise. At least in the woods my trail goes away eventually. Doesn’t seem like my online trail ever goes away. Funny how the internet is only a few decades old but what we do on it will be saved for longer than it has been in existence. What a Pandora’s box it is. The tool that uses the craftsman, or eats the craftsman. We’ll see. Years ago people said we are in the information age. I didn’t get it. What information? Now the meaning is clear. Information about me–everything about me.

  9. I don’t own a computer, but I have access to this one from a friend. He allows me to use it. It comes as a benefit for the rent I pay.

    People give way too much info. You register in blogs and if you want to comment you got to give your e-mail or your site IP.

    This computer is being used by seven people that I know. That makes it difficult to find who placed a comment.

    Another “just me”

  10. No real way to avoid this unless you detach from society get off the grid and become a hermit. I try to limit my footprint but you never know. I hate Facebook I am on there only for my wife’s sake but don’t partake or comment on anything, still it is what it is.

  11. This is why there are certain topics that I don’t comment on, ever.

    I have never, and never will, comment online about weapons. I realized a long time ago that discussing weapons, or posting that cool pic of blowing up watermelons, had the potential to come back some time in the future and take a big chomp out of my ass.

  12. MAC addresses don’t travel outside of an Ethernet network. They’re used for local routing only. In other words, they don’t ever get to the Internet. MAC addresses aren’t visible or traceable outside of your home network.

  13. One interesting thing to note is that almost all modern printers used by doctors have a record of every document it ever printed stored in it’s memory. Very often these printers are sold at almost scrap prices and shipped over seas. There is a whole business in place to harvest the info in these machines memory. So just going to the doctor and having any document printed (very common thing) is likely to give less then honest people your medical info.

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