We all spend a major part of our days online. But while you might be busy surfing the net carelessly, you might not consider the dangers lurking with careless use of the technology.
A digital footprint is any information you leave online while surfing the web. These footprints are permanent and important to consider, as what you do online has an impact on your life offline; Digital footprints are a direct measure of someone’s online reputation that impacts their offline reputation. For instance, your employer might look at your social media profile before hiring you to get an idea about your personality.
Mistakes aren’t easy. Especially with today’s digitalization, when there is a permanent record of everything you do. But luckily, there are ways you can use to delete your digital footprint or at least protect your digital footprint to keep your record clear. The first step is to use a safe source of connection. And for that, always trust reliable ISPs. We suggest Spectrum Internet® as they have a great reputation of their own and offer a protected and secure connection.
Other ways you can delete or protect your digital footprint are as follows:
Audit Your Online Accounts
You might have created a lot of accounts on various sites and for different purposes, and you might have forgotten about a lot of them. But it is still important to manage them. You aren’t the same person you were a few years ago. So, you might not want the same image portraying you online. If you have accounts created over sites, you don’t feel like reflecting on who you are now, delete them all. And keep only those accounts that you actually need as of now.
Moreover, if you have unused email accounts, delete them as well. While some email providers like MSN or Yahoo will automatically delete your accounts if you haven’t been using them for quite a while, others do it manually and delete all the unused accounts permanently. Even if you don’t want to erase your digital footprint, delete those unused accounts anyways, as they might open doors for hackers and cybercriminals.
Don’t Install All the Apps on the App Stores
While we all love a free app for anything we do, not all of them are good for your digital footprints. We all know how hard it is to read the long privacy terms and conditions that come with installing all the apps. And you might be agreeing to the apps for keeping track of your online habits. That will just add to your digital footprint without you even noticing. Thus, stop downloading every other app. Even if you aren’t using these apps, as long as they are on your phone, your activity is being constantly tracked.
Keep Track of All Your Connected Apps
It is convenient to log in to new apps and sites using your Facebook or Gmail account. However, it is not always the right thing for you, as it can easily expose all your personal information to guest sites and apps. So, it is neither wise nor safe to use your Facebook account to log in to third-party apps and sites.
Luckily, you can disconnect all the connected apps by viewing the list of all the connected apps within your profile.
Limit Sharing Stuff Over Social Media
We all relate to the urge of sharing every single moment on social media and tag our friends as well. But, the best way to limit your digital footprint is to limit the amount of personal information you share online. Stop posting details of every single moment of your life over Facebook or Instagram. Also, it is important to choose your audience wisely. Not everyone needs to know everything about you.
Moreover, if your personal information shared over social media gets into the hands of a criminal, you might fall into his trap and become a victim of identity theft.
Use a VPN
Despite the many dangers, there are unlimited benefits to using the internet. So, if you don’t want to stop your online transactions, shopping, and working, you can secure your online activities using a Virtual Private Network or VPN. VPN converts the data being transferred to or forth a device into a language that isn’t understandable to the intruders. Many remote workers benefit from this tool and make their jobs secure and efficient.
Following are some of the top Free VPNs you can install and use on your device:
- Proton VPN Free
- Hotspot Shield Basic VPN
To Sum Up,
While there are many advantages of using the internet and showing your presence online, you are constantly leaving a track of your presence in the form of a digital footprint, which is important to consider as it directly impacts your reputation in the real world. Luckily, keeping track of your online apps and subscriptions, sharing only the necessary information over social media, and using secure means of connection can help you protect your digital footprint and delete the one you don’t want to portray anymore.