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digital footprint
Try not to leave behind too many “footprints” when you go online
posted in: Financial Wellness
by Rick Halberg

A dozen ways to help erase your digital footprint

female employee
Lydia Caldwell, our Corporate Cyber Security Specialist, offers 12 ways you can protect your privacy online

Every time you go online, you’re leaving a trail of personal information. We contacted our own IT Security Division to see if they had some advice on how to help erase your digital footprint, and Lydia Caldwell shared her expertise with us.

  • Don’t overexpose yourself online, and don’t overshare too much confidential orsensitive information about yourself on the Internet.       
  • Tighten up your privacy/security settings on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.
  • Close old accounts...no one needs 10 email accounts. If you have any old email accounts, social media accounts (i.e. MySpace or Friendster), or other online accounts you no longer need or use, delete them.
  • Use a password manager/keeper, such as KeePass or LastPass to store and keep all your account credentials safe. Use strong and smart passwords, and never reuse passwords! Use a different password for every account.
  • Browsers, devices, and especially apps are often automatically set to share your personal information by default. Take the time to check out the privacy settings on each of your apps and see if you’re comfortable with the default settings. Chances are, your privacy settings could be strenghtened.
  • Make sure HTTPS is enabled. Look for the green lock at the beginning of your URL bar. Consider installing the HTTPS Everywhere extension for your web browser to ensure you are always using HTTPS on every site you visit.
  • Update your computer, device, apps, and software frequently.
  • Make sure all of your devices (computers, ipads, tablets, phones, etc.) are password protected and/or encrypted.
  • Never share your passwords with anyone…regardless of their relationship to you.  No person has the right to ask for or obtain your password for any reason.
  • Look out for phishing emails. If you receive a suspicious email that you think may be spam or malicious, do not reply to the email and do not open any attachments. Instead, delete the email from your inbox immediately.
  • Think before you click! Do you really know what link or ad your are clicking on? One wrong click could comprise your device.
  • Make sure all of your devices have an up-to-date Antivirus program installed on them.

Identity theft is a growing problem that can profoundly affect your financial security, so it’s best to implement some of these tips right away. For example, a business owner who receives reviews online can work toward getting good search results and SEO as a result of cleaning up their digital footprint, both personally and for their business.

Taking small steps now can help prevent an invasion of your privacy before it’s too late.

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