5. Digital Footprint


What is a digital footprint?

Your digital footprint is a trail of information that you post online, including photos and status updates. Criminals can use this information to steal your identity, or to make phishing messages more convincing.

Social media is a great way to stay in touch with family, friends and keep up to date on the latest news. However, it’s important to know how to manage the security and privacy settings on your accounts, so that your personal information remains inaccessible to anyone but you.

The following guidance is provided by each of the major social media platforms. Click to read detailed information.

There are a few things you can do right now to help to reduce your footprint

  1. Have I Been Pwned – check your email addresses on here to see if you have been involved in any data breaches. If so, change your email and associated accounts passwords immediately.
  2. Google Accounts. If you have a Google Account, you can boost your privacy, reduce data collection or remove yourself entirely from their ecosystem. Use their privacy check-up tool which can be found here
  3. Social Media Lock down all of your social media accounts, make sure that your posts and profiles are set to ‘private’.
  4. Do you have old accounts that you don’t use? Delete and deactivate them. You may be signed up to an old forum, an old social network or even have an old email account you no longer use. Get rid of these.
  5. Use a VPN – A Virtual Private Network. Ideally use one with a kill switch. A VPN is able to mask your IP address and creates a private tunnel between yourself and the internet.

VPN guidance can be found here

Managing your digital footprint