Digital footprint on the Internet: What it is and how it works

Millions of users generate vast amounts of data on the Internet daily, ready to be analyzed. Information is power. If you want to learn more about the digital footprint and its impact on your business, this article is for you.

Don't let the risk of identity and regulatory compliance hinder your business. Use Zenpli's future-proof solutions to grow securely and without barriers.

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Salvador Del Valle
February 23, 2024

What is a fingerprint?

Every day, Internet users around the world voluntarily or involuntarily share their information, thus leaving a data trail that form a cluster of information known as fingerprint. 

The set of data that constitutes the user's digital footprint grows every time the user interacts on the Internet, whether on a website, in your daily activities or on social networks and applications.

For example, some websites can install cookies on your mobile device or web browser for purposes such as:

  • Remember your consent to the site's cookie policy (as required by the GDPR for websites in the EU).
  • Track your browsing activity between web pages to create user profiles and segment you based on your interests (such as the Microsoft unique user ID that identifies you between Microsoft services)
  • Store personal information that you provide directly to a site, such as your name, email, address, purchase history, etc. This allows sites to remember who you are and personalize your experience.

Interactions can also provide information, whether through social networks, with "likes", subscriptions, or even with the data that the user provides to these portals, such as name, address, email, etc. It is also possible to save biometric information such as fingerprint or facial recognition that is used to unlock mobile devices.

Types of fingerprint

Fingerprints are usually classified as follows:

Passive fingerprint

This type of digital footprint is created with information collected without the Internet user's knowledge, that is, without their explicit consent. Some of the most common data include:

  • Passive data
  • IP adress
  • Personal data such as language, age, preferences, etc.
  • Device operating system
  • Browser name used
  • Different online activities such as purchases, searches and habits.

Active fingerprint

It is created with actions authorized or carried out voluntarily by the user. These authorizations are usually made through registrations, surveys, subscriptions, comments on web portals or social networks, among other means. Some of this data is:

  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Name
  • Home.

Through the fingerprint,Zenpli It is responsible for verifying and correlating all the elements of your identity. By linking data such as name, email, phone, address, browsing history and more, our platform validates the authenticity of the user and ensures that it is not a false or synthetic identity.

This intelligent onboarding process protects against impersonation fraud, ensuring that each account belongs to a real person. Zenpli Fingerprinting provides an additional layer of security by authenticating users based on their total online activity, not just isolated data.

What is the fingerprint for?

Digital footprints have a significant impact on various aspects of digital life and are essential tools for companies in the current era. They facilitate security, authentication, personalization of services and making informed decisions. Some of its applications are the following:

Study the user

By generating millions of data daily, the digital footprint generates all types of information, which accumulates in what is known as big data. This compendium of information comprises millions of statistical data used to analyze behavior patterns or generate profiles. They can also be used to collect information for the machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Identify tastes and preferences

The analysis of the personal informationIt can be used for different purposes and areas such as marketing, e-commerce, or to improve the user experience through understanding tastes, with programs such as Google Analytics.

Build digital reputation and digital identity

The fingerprint is part of the digital reputation. The latter is determined by all the actions that the user performs on the web, and that influence and build the perception that other users have of him. Some employers and universities investigate users' online reputations to learn more about them.

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There are a series of risks associated with digital footprint and in general to the presence that people leave when using technological elements. In the midst of this uncertainty, options such as VPNs emerge, which, although very popular, are not an infallible weapon to protect sensitive data.

Many users resort to using VPN with incognito IP or activating privacy settings on their devices to protect their personal information and avoid being tracked when browsing the internet. However, despite using these tools, data can end up exposed if due care is not taken when using public Wi-Fi networks.

For example, there is a large risk potential in situations like:

  • send confidential information by email
  • make online purchases with a credit card
  • enter your bank account
  • access applications that contain sensitive data.

Therefore, individual efforts alone are not enough to ensure data invulnerability. Companies must generate the necessary mechanisms to ensure that personal information is protected and thus avoid security breaches.

Some of the most common dangers range from Identity Theft, until the appearance of massive advertising or the leak of private data. This is where cybersecurity comes into play as a response to protect users and protect their vulnerabilities.

The organizational response to this dilemma involves having verification processes solid and secure, keeping bad users away and prioritizing those who do meet the requirements. It is in this context that the digital footprint has a decisive value.

At Zenpli we use each person's unique fingerprint to validate their real identity in the account opening processes. Our API reviews various data to verify the identity of users. If the data matches, the API can confirm that the user is legitimate.

Talk to our team to integrate Zenpli into your platform and you will be able to effectively verify the authenticity of each new record.

How to protect your company's digital footprint

You're probably wondering,only people have fingerprints? What about the companies

In the same way that individuals use the Internet when they use the Internet, companies that have some type of online presence They can also leave a digital footprint. Usually, this is fed with information from the company's own media, such as corporate channels, blogs and social networks.

So when handling private data such as credit card information, addresses or personal documents, a case of data leak or any failure in cybersecurity can mean considerable damage to the image that users have of the company.

By having better digital security tools, your company will be able to protect both its own data and that of its users, which can strengthen the relationship with your customers and increase profits.

Zenpli It is your best ally in identity protection and fraud prevention processes. Analyze your users' footprint, determine if they are legitimate or an imposter, and protect your business, all in a single API!