This is part of a sponsored conversation by Allstate.
Did you know that June is Internet Safety Month? The internet has become such an integrated part of our lives, that we don’t always stop to think about our digital footprint and how we may be compromising our own safety as well as our family’s safety. 6 Ways to Protect Your Digital Footprint To Keep You and Your Family Safe Online
Leaving a digital footprint is something that happens when you’re least aware of it. For example, when you click on a website or when you buy something online, that’s leaving a digital footprint. Your activity on social media is especially vulnerable. You’re also leaving a digital footprint when you leave a comment on a social media platform like Facebook, when you check into a restaurant or when you post a photo from your vacation. The more activity you do online and the more information you share online, the more active your footprint. An active digital footprint can potentially require more protection.
Here’s how you can protect yourself:
The easiest thing you can do is simply to periodically look up your name on search engines. You may find old tweets or blog posts that you do not want current friends, co-workers or even potential employers to see. If you “liked” an article on LinkedIn, for example, make sure it showcases your current professional and industry-related interests.
When it comes to social media, be careful not to overshare information. Don’t use your full name, avoid sharing your birthday and stick to the rule of thumb that the less information you share – the better. It’s always smart to set your social media to “friends only”, as opposed to sharing with the public. Potential employers do sometimes look at your social media if it’s available to the public, so you may want to either be careful what information you reveal online or keep social media accounts private.
If you tend to download lots of apps, using an antivirus app is a good idea, as it can protect you from potential viruses that come in the form of texts and emails that you never sent, or even apps that somehow end up on your phone.
Creating a password that’s not easy to hack is important. Use upper and lower case letters, as well as symbols and numbers. Even better – use an entire sentence as your password. Changing your password often is always a smart move. Finally, be sure to use different passwords for different accounts.
If you shop online you might consider installing an anti-spyware software in order to protect your payment information and avoid identity theft.
Unfortunately, kids can fall prey to online scams and may leave a larger digital footprint than you – without even knowing! If you have a child who is active online be sure to speak to them and explain consequences that may result in being active online, especially on social platforms, which are very popular among teens and even younger children. Kids should think twice before posting or commenting, as people can keep the post forever using screenshots, even though the post can later be deleted. They also need to be very careful about which photos they are sharing. It’s always a good idea for parents to know who their kids are communicating with online and the type of information they are sharing.
For more tips on protecting your online safety visit: Hidden World of Data
Want to find out the size of your digital footprint? Take this six-question quiz.
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.