Do you know that you leave behind trails when you use the internet? Are you aware that these trails can be traced back to you? It can affect your future and endanger your security. Apart from cyber threats, digital footprints can be tracked by potential employers and universities. Nowadays, employees and universities look the candidate up before determining whether to hire/ enroll them. For this reason, you should not have any negative digital footprint which may affect their decision. Therefore, effective management of online identity is a must.
A person’s online footprint includes all their online activities, such as pictures, comments, videos, blogs subscribed to, playlists made, etc. You should keep a strict eye on what you do online, especially on social networking platforms.
You must learn to effectively manage your digital footprint. Wondering how to do that? Here are some handy tips for digital footprint management:
Look up your name online
Go to various leading search engines, and look yourself up. Go through the search results, and check if there is any private or offensive information. If something that you do not wish others to see pops up in the search results, then contact that website’s admin and request them to take it down. After checking the text results, go to images and see what appears. If there are any pictures that you consider private, then remove them. Also, lock your social media profiles so that they do not appear in search results.
Check the privacy settings
It is essential for you to have the knowledge of who your online activity is accessible to, especially on social media platforms. A majority of leading social networking websites come with privacy settings which helps users in managing the content shared by them, and who can view the content. Users get to decide how much or with who they wish to share the content. However, if someone tags you in a picture or social media post, and their account setting is set to public, then anybody will be able to see it. You need to turn off tagging from your social media accounts. Therefore, be extra cautious on social networking platforms.
Deactivate or delete old profiles
If you feel that your social media profile is creating a negative image and leaving a negative footprint, then you may consider making a new one. Before you do that, you must deactivate or delete the old account. Also, if you have created up several accounts on platforms you no longer use, then you must close those accounts. By deactivating or deleting such accounts, you will get rid of the problem completely. Moreover, the lesser accounts you have, the lesser the chances will be of them getting hacked.
Think twice before posting
Avoid giving away more personal information than necessary on the internet. Various dangers lurk online, and identity theft is amongst the top five. Also, posting a lot of bizarre and offensive stuff will pile up on your negative footprint. Hence, avoid over-sharing and post only positive stuff. Moreover, do not give your password details to anybody. Log out of the accounts when you are not using them. Any malicious individual may hack into your account and post irrelevant or spammy stuff. To avoid this, secure your account with two-factor authentication.
Marshall Lyne is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cybersecurity, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. He writes for Norton security products at norton.com/setup.