Issue 17 January 2020

Matters

What goes online, stays online

Digital footprintEvery time you use social media, buy or sell something online, visit any kind of website, send or receive an email, find your way using a mapping app or save a photo to the cloud, you add to your digital footprint. The same goes for downloading music, making Skype calls and using voice assistant. Every time you post a photo of your children or your friends, you add to their digital footprint too.

When an ad for something you've shown interest in online pops up on Facebook it's because of your digital footprint. When you don't get on the shortlist for a job because of something you posted five years ago, that's because of your digital footprint too.

Your digital footprint is part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people or tracked and held in databases. In the most serious cases, it could lead to your family or friends becoming victims of fraud or identity theft, it could put your children at risk of criminal activity and your records could fall into the wrong hands, including perpetrators of organised crime.

Thankfully, there are simple steps that you can take to reduce and change the nature of the impressions that you leave online. Sussex Police, West Sussex County Council and Get Safe Online have put together some expert tips to help you minimise your digital footprint, or make sure it's a good one. To improve your online footprint just visit www.getsafeonline.org/yourdigitalfootprint

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West Sussex County Council is reminding residents that they need to take ID with them when they visit a West Sussex Household Waste Recycling Site (HWRS).

The new system is designed to save West Sussex taxpayers £250,000 per year by ensuring the sites are only used by those who pay for them.

Householders will need to prove they live within West Sussex by showing a form of ID such as a drivers licence or council tax bill.

The scheme has been introduced due to the high number of people travelling across county boundaries to recycle and dispose of their waste. This has a significant impact on waste disposal costs which ultimately fall to the West Sussex taxpayer.

Surveys have shown that an average of one in ten people using HWRSs closest to the county borders live outside of West Sussex.

At East Grinstead, this can increase to as many as one in five people. Residents in certain areas of Surrey will be able to continue using the East Grinstead Household Waste Recycling Site, following an agreement between Surrey and West Sussex County Councils. All other sites in West Sussex are restricted to West Sussex residents only.

Further details about the changes can be found when visiting HWRSs and at www.recycleforwestsussex.org/