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.
ellen beck says
Unfortunately, whenever there is a place to grab something it seems someone does. The internet is the new wild west . I try and stay fairly safe although with contests and things we often give up a whole lot of info such as emails and sometimes other things :/
Deanna Marissa says
Online privacy is so important during these days. Thanks for sharing great tips.
Nidhi Chauhan says
I think online safety is must now a days. We have to take extra steps to stay away from internet thief. Thank you for sharing awesome tips.
Janet W. says
You can never be too careful nowadays when it comes to online safety. Nice tips!
Sometimes I forget how important online safety is. Thank you for this information.
ellen beck says
This Is an excellent post. The only problem I have is entering contests, EVERYTHING has to be shared publicly unless the blogger follows you which is rare. Rafflecopter also functions alot on facebook which shows first and last names. So I am in a quandry. Sometimes too we have to make a statement like “I also follow you via email as tannawinsg at XXX.Com or whatever so all the info is out there.
I have Googled My name and my tweets show as well as comments.
Terra Heck says
I think knowing about online safety and arming ourselves is of utmost importance. I have an alert that comes to my email anytime my name shows up in Google. Thanks for the tips.
The Mama Maven says
I think privacy is extremely important. One thing that has been difficult is that the grandparents overshare and I’ve had to tell them I don’t like them sharing pictures of our kids without changing their privacy settings. They don’t get how important it is.
My kids have been taught to never give out any personal information! I also check their accounts frequently.
I wish there were better ways to protect ourselves these days. I do worry about my kids more than myself, but also feel if someone really wanted my information that they could obtain it in some way shape or form.
It’s so scary what people can access – and when your kids are using the internet, you really have to be careful. Great tips.
A few years ago I was dating a girl, and I did a google search of her name and she was “tagged” in several photos where she was scantily clad or drinking and smoking marijuana. Anyone, like a potential employer could find the same thing, and likely not hire her. I certainly didn’t want to date her.
The Mama Maven says
That’s scary! I am glad I that there was no social media when I was in college because no one behaved.
Internet safety is vital in today’s world. You must be very, very careful.
Mary Beth Elderton says
I am pretty much an open book online in terms of social media—that is *me* you see. I rarely use my phone for things that involve money or credit cards, so I worry less about that. My laptop runs on Linux which seems to be slightly less vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks. Having said that, I think it might be a good idea to give things a go-over anyway. Thanks for the ideas!
shelly peterson says
Thank you for sharing this great information. Online safety is very important.
kelly tupick says
Thanks for the great tips. It’s so easy now a days to have your identity stolen or even being hacked into. I’ve heard so many horror stories about this.
Thank you for the great tips!! I wonder about how big my digital footprint has become since I started blogging.
I worry about this stuff, but more so with my kids. They play on video games over the internet all the time with people they don’t even know and are frequently asked questions about where they’re from. I use social media, but have limited the amount of information I provide in my bio. I also realize that there are individuals out there that can get my information if they really want it!
Dana Matthews says
I work with my girls about being safe online. I check behind them as much as I can and limit their use of electronics. I learned a lesson several years back with Facebook. when I created my account, I left my phone number visible. I finally figured out how the person got my number. I was receiving so many strange calls and was nervous about it. That in itself made me aware of how easy it is to let safety get out of hand.
Online safety is of utmost importance. It is so easy for your identity to get stolen.
This is a great post and a good reminder! Thank you for sharing this info:)
This is such helpful info! I would have never known/thought of so much of this. Thanks for this post – saving it!
Eze Azubike says
Timely and good information.
Katherine Betts says
Gosh, it’s all a bit scary isn’t it? I’m sure there is so much information out there on me and I really should take the time to tody up!
Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome says
An antuvurus seams like a really smart way to protect your family
Wow this was so interesting, didn’t realise you can protect your digital footprint
I use to audit my online presence every so often but that has totally fallen by the wayside and is definitely something I should start doing again
Irina David says
Great tips… Thank you. I will look into anti-spyware software