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Your Digital Footprint

Every time you use the internet, you leave a data trail; this is called a digital footprint. Your online shopping, emails and social media all contribute to your footprint. Combined with your location, IP address, and the device and browser you’re using, your digital footprint can reveal a lot about you.

To control your digital footprint:

Checking Your Digital Footprint

Evaluate Your Digital Footprint

Have you ever had to set up an account just to see a website? Do you have any unused or inactive accounts like old email addresses and social media profiles? Assess what accounts you have and disable or delete unused accounts.  

 

If you have a password manager, check it to see if you have forgotten any accounts. Try Googling yourself to see what can be found – employers will use this trick! 

2

Account Privacy

It can be difficult to understand what you are agreeing to when ticking a box on an app or a website, but it is important to know how your data is being used or shared. 

For each account you own, particularly those you use regularly like Facebook or Google, try to find the privacy settings, and ensure any private or personal information is not visible to the public. 

3

Check For Comprimised Accounts 

2021 was a record year for compromised accounts! 5.9 billion accounts were acquired by cyber criminals – was yours one of them?  

Have I Been Pwned is a trusted website where you can check whether accounts connected to your email address or phone number have been compromised. Hit the ‘Notify Me’ tab to receive emails if your data is leaked in the future. 

4

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication provides another barrier against hackers trying to steal your account. 

Enable it by adding a mobile number, back up email address, authenticator app, pattern, or pin to your accounts. 

5

Manage Your Passwords Well 

Don’t use the same password on more than one account and change your passwords regularly.  When using fingerprint scanning or facial recognition, make sure the company will store it safely – biometrics cannot be changed. 

Strong passwords have: 

• Uppercase and lowercase characters (A - Z | a - z) 

• Numbers (0 - 9) 

• Symbols (such as !, $, *, or %) 

• A minimum of 8 characters 

Check the strength and uniqueness of your passwords; Have I Been Pwned also has a password checker.

6

Be Cautious on Shared Devices and Internet Connections

Try to avoid using public WiFi, such as in a local coffee shop. This can be an easy way for criminals to gather your information. However, if this cannot be avoided, use a credible VPN to hide your IP address.  

When using a publicly shared device, never save your credentials and always log out of any accounts you use. 

7

Keep Your Devices Secure 

Try to avoid using public WiFi, such as in a local coffee shop. This can be an easy way for criminals to gather your information. However, if this cannot be avoided, use a credible VPN to hide your IP address.  

When using a publicly shared device, never save your credentials and always log out of any accounts you use. 

8

Practise Safe Browsing Habits 

Look for the padlock on the address bar, or ‘HTTPS’ in the URL. 

If using a company for the first time, check their online presence on social media.  

Do not interact with pop-ups and ads.  

Some browsers have features which can assist with protecting your digital footprint. 

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