Cover Your Digital Footprint Published May 10, 2017 Every time you open a browser to view a Web page, that information is stored on your computer—whether you're shopping online, checking movie listings, or catching up on the latest news. Computer operating systems store this material in temporary internet files or "cache." Web pages may store bits of information about who you are in files called "cookies" on your computer. Your Web browser will store a list of Web sites you've visited and places you've gone in a history file in your computer—thus creating your digital footprint. Even if you're not online, programs will store histories of the files you've opened, played, or viewed. This is why you will see pop up advertisements of products you have previously looked at on your side bar in your web browser. Cookies are created to recognize users when they return to a Web site; they make it possible to offer customized content to a user. Even though cookies make Web use quicker and more convenient, they can be a threat to your privacy if they store sensitive information like your name and password on protected login pages, preferences, account information, and choices you have made on the site. So, even if you clear browser history, cookies—like a map—can show your surfing preferences, habits, passwords, and so forth. To be sure that you are protecting your private information, be sure to clear your caches and cookies in your web browser settings. It is recommended to clear the caches every couple of weeks as well as configuring your bowser settings to delete cookies once the browser is closed. This is to ensure another level of security.