Clean up your Digital Footprint. Find out what other people know about you and reclaim your Cyber Privacy
Your “digital footprint” includes all traces of online activity, from commenting on blogs, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to sharing photos, making online purchases and leaving reviews. Only when you know the extent of your digital footprint can you take steps to control it. In this digital age protecting your identity and online reputation is of the utmost importance and that’s why millions of Americans are using background search engines such as SeekVerify to find out what’s online about them.
Security is no longer a question of locking your front door and using a pin code to access your smartphone. These days you need an added layer of protection to stay one step ahead of hackers, identity thieves, fraudsters, cyberstalkers, potential employers, schools, creditors, even online dates. Managing your identity is not a matter of "if" but "when."
Three steps to clean up your digital footprint
1. Find everything that is online about you
Old social profiles, embarrassing photos or posts you don’t even remember, sensitive conversations, there’s a lot of stuff out there that might be problematic. Usually you can’t find it all with a simple Google search, that’s why it’s better to use a search engine that goes through as many records as possible, such as SeekVerify.
Try searching for your name or e-mail address on SeekVerify to see everything that is online about you.
2. Decide what you want to keep
Some of the information about you online is harmless, unimportant or impossible to remove. Decide what you want to keep, what is not urgent to remove or whether you really want to delete everything about you online.
3. Begin the info removal
Usually, when it comes to social networks, in order to remove your information you have to login to the platforms and you can delete your account completely or just part of the content there. If you’ve forgotten your credentials and can’t login, try contacting directly their support center to remove it for you. Just make sure you make it clear about what you want to be removed and what not.
Regarding public information such as criminal records, some of them might not be possible to delete. But it’s always highly recommended to know about your public records that others can find with a similar search and then, if it’s the case, you might need to work with a lawyer to see what part of information can be made private.
Here's why you should take a good close look at your Digital Footprint today.
Every day, whether we want to or not, most of us contribute to a living portrait of who we are online; a representation of our true selves that is probably more public than we assume. No matter what you do online, it's essential that you know what kind of trail you're leaving. Picture posts on social media, Skype calls, app use and email records; it’s all part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked in corporate databases. All your thumbs-up, likes, retweets, and Facebook comments (even private ones) leave a record. Keep an eye on your privacy settings as sites often introduce new policies that increase the visibility of your data. The Internet is snooping every time you use it. Many companies, both legitimate and criminal, can squeeze a profit out of knowing you better. Governments also like to get a piece of the information pie. Before you update your "status" the next time, re-examine what you’re telling or uploading and ask yourself if this is something you’d want your parents, your kids, your in-laws, your boss, or the IRS to read.
The information you publish on one website can be cross-referenced with data from another, creating a complex record of who you are. Few sites identify you by name, but a lot identify you by your email address. Using different addresses at different sites can be advantageous and getting a second credit card may also be a good idea. Your browser almost certainly has a private/incognito mode where it won’t save cookies, searches, or history. However, your ISP (internet service provider) can still see where you’ve been and will track you via your IP address. Organizations like the Family Online Safety Institute recommend using services like SeekVerify to track your digital footprint and taking steps to control it. Don't just rely on Google (the one company that probably profits the most from your data) and don't wait until it's too late.
Your digital footprint can keep you from getting a job, being admitted into college or a prestigious association. See what others can find about you on this site.
From revenge porn to topless vacation pics, from drunken office-party photos to late-night rage tweeting. Everyone has misbehaved, and every one of us has their own Achilles heel in the online world. We're all living under the constant observation of our friend's and neighbor's cameraphones. Everything we do or say is potentially being recorded, and we're all carrying location tracking devices in our pockets. Your digital footprint can keep you from getting a job, being admitted into college or a prestigious association. It can even prevent you from obtaining a loan. Even more threatening is how it will increase your probability of exploitation by cyber-criminals. A cyber profile is generated when fragments of your digital content get pieced together. This online profile can be used for social engineering attacks and identity theft. Removal of problematic data is often the only solution to clean up one's identity, but most of us aren't even aware of the traces we have left.
Most websites will comply with content removal requests but keep in mind that Google often keeps deleted pages online for quite a while as cached search results. Make no mistake; it's not just what YOU do or post that will come back to bite you. Some of your friends might have mentioned your name on social networks or tagged your face on photos. Your name could appear in blog posts, articles or comments (even on adult entertainment sites) without your knowledge or consent. The only way to find out what's happening behind your back but in plain sight of everybody else is to use a background search service like SeekVerify, an affordable and easy access solution for private individuals who need to make more informed decisions about their online presence. It’s up to you to understand and protect your privacy rights.
Google search is not the tool you want to rely on. What you need is a service that drills much deeper and compiles your results in one easy-to-read report. Clean up records of past misbehavior, protect yourself and your loved ones from strangers spying on your online activities. Get the facts before the facts get to you.