The Digital Footprint: I’m Trying to Clean Up My Sh*t.

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Where is all these emails are coming from?

Did I register for this?

Have you ever wondered what your digital footprint manifested on the Internet?

The theories behind personal data and cookies have created anxiety towards the safety of my information on the Internet. Identity theft, credit card fraud, and spamming are some issues that users experience while surfing the web. I have reserved feelings about the conspiracy but, I wonder if I’m careless.

Then, there are social media. Mindlessly, I have selected ‘allowed’ or ‘approved’ to link my social media to third-party apps, games, and shopping sites. Most times, I don’t think twice before sharing my information. However, it is my responsibility to protect myself and be cautious about what I share.

I decided to clean up my digital footprint and make an extra effort to become more aware. With the information I collected, I can help you notice where/how we are vulnerable.

According to research, digital footprint refers to traceable digital activities, actions, contributions, and communications exposed on the Internet. An active footprint refers to users knowingly sharing their information online. A passive footprint refers to websites collecting data without notifying the user. One example of an active digital footprint is signing into a website that will allow you to interact with its features. A passive digital footprint refers to websites that use machine learning skills to store your online activity.

I have been browsing the Internet for over 12 years. I am unable to remember every website that I visited or granted approval to third-party apps. How do I start assembling my web and social activity? I discovered three online products that can help us manage our online communications and locate your data.

Google did a great job with managing users’ online activities and provide privacy protection. The information is available through the Google account and, you can adjust your privacy settings. In addition, it offers an incognito mode for private browsing.

Data & Privacy Settings — Google

Facebook’s privacy checkup guides you through the settings. It shows you the various third-party apps and websites that connect to your Facebook account. In settings, select Apps & Websites and, you can view the list to remove any unwanted websites.

Facebook Settings — Apps & Websites

Recently, I discovered SayMine. It helps you find where your personal information is stored and how to remove it. The website is my holy grail.

  • See and manage where your data is stored.
  • Reclaim your data and permanently delete the account’s linkage.
  • It’s quick, easy, and generates information from five years & more.
  • Say mine is a good place to start cleaning up your digital footprint.
Say Mine App — My Reclaims

Growing up in a social/digital society, we need to be mindful of what we share online and inform our children about the dangers of cyber-bullying and online predators.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store