In the current era of 5.0, you can more easily find various information, such as an essential topic, company information, or information related to someone. Yes, you can find a person’s accurate digital footprint through Google and social media, especially if the individual is an active internet user.
Although it sounds normal, a digital footprint can actually be harmful if you don’t know how to take care of it properly.
What is a Digital Footprint?
The definition of a digital footprint is any track record of a person’s data originating from internet use. This data can come from the websites you visit. Then send emails or information that you consciously share over the internet.
Another example of a digital footprint is you upload content to social media, leave comments, shop online, and so on. All of this has the opportunity to become a digital footprint that will be stored permanently on the internet. Digital traces can also be recorded on the computer or smartphone you are using.
Types of Digital Footprint
Active Digital Footprint
An active digital footprint means that data or information is shared intentionally through social media or websites. Examples of active digital footprints include when you upload content on social media. You can also fill out online forms and comment on online forums. A registered name or profile that can be linked to the upload makes it very easy to find out a lot about a person.
Passive Digital Footprint
In contrast to active digital traces, passive digital traces are data or information collected without the knowledge of the user or owner. Passive digital traces generally include the user’s domicile, IP address, and device type used. In digital marketing, a passive digital footprint is used to find customer profiles, target advertising, study the customer journey, and more.
Top 5 Reasons You Should Avoid Digital FootPrints
1. Digital Exposure
One of the dangerous risks of a digital footprint is digital exposure. What is digital exposure? Digital exposure is free to access; people can easily access your data. This activity can cause material losses because the perpetrators can steal identities or commit other criminal acts.
You can be exposed to phishing attacks if you are not careful with your digital footprint. Phishing is a manipulative attack that can harm users by breaking into their essential data.
For example, they are breaking into an ATM account. Usually, phishing can occur because the perpetrator has obtained sensitive information belonging to the victim left on the internet, especially with the many challenges on social media that unknowingly leak personal information or data.
That’s why services like VPN are recommended for this purpose. VPNs are available not only to desktop or mobile devices but also to TVs. Yes, there are some of them, like VPN for Samsung smart tv, for example. With it, you can safely connect your TV to the internet without worry. Why? Because the risks of cybersecurity have been minimized dramatically.
3. Professional Reputation Became Bad
Currently, some companies make social media accounts or the behavior of prospective employees on the internet as part of the assessment. Yes, recruiters will pay attention to the candidate’s lifestyle and personality based on activities on the internet, especially on social media.
Of course, this can be dangerous for those who don’t manage their digital footprint properly. Because if the company finds activities that they feel are not following their culture, the candidate’s professional reputation can be destroyed.
4. You Can Be Easily Manipulated
By the digital footprints you left, the hackers could use the information to dig more information about you. The information obtained will be used against you and fatally manipulate anything that’s important in your life, including yourself.
5. The Defamation Risks
As we previously mentioned, your information can always be used against you. That means anyone can probably ruin your reputation and even make defamation
How to Protect Yourself from The Risks of Digital Footprints
1. Check the availability of personal information on the internet
Try checking your available information on the internet to see how much information you can get from there.
The first step to finding out whether your data is stored on the internet or not is through the browser checking process. Enter your name in the search field and see if it has your identity in it.
You can search for such an identity on a social media platform like FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. To remove your name from search engines, you must ask the administrator for permission to delete your name.
2. Deleting, deactivating social media accounts and shopping accounts
The next way to remove digital traces is to disable various social media and shopping accounts. Try to delete some social media and shopping accounts that are rarely used.
In the account settings, select the option to disable and delete it temporarily. Usually, this process takes some time to close your access completely.
3. Use incognito mode when browsing the internet
If you want your browsing process on the internet not to be tracked by search engines, you can try the incognito mode feature.
Several search engines already support this feature, such as Google, Mozilla Firefox, UC Browser to Opera mini. Using this feature makes your browsing process private, and you can also open more than one account at a time.
4. Delete email or create a pseudo email
Electronic mail or email is almost all mobile phone owners. How not? You will not be able to download the application without the permission given from the email.
Even several notifications will go to the email. How to delete an email varies, depending on the type of email you have. You can apply to delete the account, but the process will not happen immediately.
Given the importance of having an email for mobile phone owners, you can also use a pseudonym email with an unreal email name. Just don’t apply for your job using this email.