Our digital footprint is much more than we think. It not only involves our active online activities like photos, tweets, social updates, etc. but also passive ones like a website collecting IP addresses, social media sharing and engagement data. These days, cookies and customized ads are always there to assist with login information, shopping or to make personalized suggestions based on our location or interests. But we have to keep in mind that a user profile created using digital footprint can contain personal information like interests, affiliations, demographics, religion, political inclination and much more.
In many corporate/industries, an online background check is a common practice by recruiters. We have seen individuals losing their job offers in worst-case scenarios. So all and all conclusion is that we all need to take greater responsibility when it comes to the digital footprint and then slowly learn to prevent data breaches and keep information private.
So lets Start!
Start Managing it Today!
- Start Googling yourself: Know what’s out there about you. Search yourself every few months so you’re mindful of your pictures/videos/data other people have access to.
- Set a Google alerts: After setting up this tool you’ll be able to get occasional alerts of whenever your names pops-up on the web.
- Don’t disclose your personal data: Personal address, phone number, passwords or bank card numbers are one on the examples of sensitive data you might want to protect.
- Think twice, post once: Think properly the implications of your post. Random emotions are temporary; online data lasts forever! For example: Never expose birthdays, nicknames, pet names etc. online, especially if you have used them in any of your passwords or user names (which is not a good idea generally).
- Limit data sharing: Your data like any questionable image/video/tweet or anything else can be used to gather more information or harm you. So beware of what you are sharing with whom. Which are data is public or which is private.
Let’s Remove all traces too!
- Check your browser & browser settings: Always use most up to date security and privacy measures while browsing. Clear your cookies regularly too.
- Setup a separate email address for subscribing and queries: If you are using your regular email address (personal/professional) for subscribing and registering on web, then you are increasing chances of a digital trace on you by cyber criminals. I recommend you to setup a web-based email for all secondary activities on the web. Try to make it completely anonymous by not using your personal information and your home/office device to access it.
- Keep an eye online platform settings: Online platforms from cloud services to social media to e-commerce platforms are valuable assets to our daily fast pace lifestyle. Keep yourself aware with all the privacy setting and their regular updates, on each platform you use. They may vary on the device to device, so you have to carry out through privacy sweeps regularly.
- Keep an eye on data protection policies: To ensure everybody is handling certain issues properly, data protection policies are a must. Employee awareness and training under these policies is the most essential part of any security program. They comprise of the following kind of sections:
- Encryption policies
- Acceptable use policies
- Password policies
- Email policies
- Data processing policies