A digital footprint is the trace of data that we leave behind on the internet. While this can prove to be an invaluable asset for our online activities, it can also put us at risk of data breaches, identity theft, and cyberbullying if steps are not taken to protect our privacy.
Find out how to erase your digital footprint in seven simple steps from this guide.
Search For Yourself Online
The first step to erasing your digital footprint is to search for yourself online. See what information might be public about you, and make a list of potentially damaging items such as outdated social media profiles, photos, blog posts, and other websites related to you.
This will help you identify areas that need attention as you go through the steps of removing or editing your digital footprint.
1. Clean up your Social Media
Social media is one of the most popular ways to share your life online, but if you don’t take the time to clean it up, it can create a digital footprint that follows you around for years. Take the time to delete comments and posts that are no longer relevant or that could be embarrassing. Unfriend or at least limit people who post content with which you would rather not be associated.
Deleting your social media profiles is an important step towards erasing your digital footprint. As much of our digital identities are tied to social media, deleting your accounts and removing yourself from these networks can help you reduce the amount of data on the internet about you. Make sure to double-check that all of your information has been wiped out before making a final decision.
2. Delete Your Old Accounts
Do you have an old account on a social network, email list, or chat room? Delete those accounts and make sure you update other accounts with your new information if applicable. You don’t want these sites linking back to an outdated profile!
3. Don’t Track everything
If possible, try to opt out of any tracking tools like Google Analytics or web analytics used by companies such as Facebook and Twitter. This will help reduce the amount of information these companies have about you and keep them from building up a profile based on what websites you visit or products you purchase.
4. Keep Passwords Secure
Password security is one of the most important ways to protect your digital data and privacy. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to reuse passwords across various accounts and devices, which makes it easier for hackers to gain access. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, establish a regular schedule for changing your passwords across all of your accounts.
Create strong passwords that are difficult to guess by combining upper and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols, and never store them in plain text.
Create complex passwords for all of your accounts so no one has access to them without permission. Disable two-factor authentication where available and enable logout after idle times if possible in order to keep persistent digital footprints off the internet while keeping accounts secure.
5. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
To further protect your digital privacy, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an effective way to hide your online activity. VPNs encrypt data sent over public networks and make it appear as though traffic is coming from a different location than it actually is. This can provide added anonymity and help keep the websites you visit and content posted online completely private.
A VPN helps protect users’ privacy by encrypting their data and hiding their IP address while they surf the internet – this way, no one can view their activities online without authorization. It also provides additional security measures against malicious websites trying to capture personal data through malicious software downloads or viruses installed on devices when users visit certain sites online.
6. Avoid Public WiFi Connections
Public Wi-Fi networks are unsecured networks that can expose user data such as emails, banking information, and passwords, etc., Without taking additional measures like using a VPN when connecting to public wi-fi hotspots, cybercriminals can monitor activity across those connections and gain access to confidential information being sent over them quickly.
7. Utilize Encryption Software
Encryption software works by scrambling plain text messages making them illegible until decrypted on both ends (sender and recipient).
Implementing encryption features is necessary in order for senders and receivers to protect their conversations from potential hackers trying to intercept them along transit paths—this keeps prying eyes from parting out intended messages as well as ensures safekeeping against cyber criminals seeking access points into various devices within an organization's digital infrastructure system(s).
8. Remove Yourself From People Search Sites
Once you have identified the websites where your personal information is located, you will need to start removing it. Contact the website owner or administrator and let them know that you would like to remove any trace of your presence from their site.
Some sites may require proof of identity before they grant your request so make sure you prepare for that in advance.
If it is a social network like Facebook or Twitter, be sure to also delete any account information and profiles associated with the sites.
Contact Reputation Privacy
Reputation Privacy can help you remove your personal information from the internet to protect your online privacy. We scan the internet using our deep web search software to locate your information by name, address, phone number, email, and more.
If you want to remove personal information from Google, Bing, and Yahoo, We can help! Contact Reputation Privacy to learn how we locate, remove, and monitor monthly to keep your information private.