IT Center Blog

Cybersecurity 101: Protecting the Digital Footprint in the Digital Age

July 3rd, 2023 | by
Three footprints with blue digital background

Source: Own Illustration

In today’s digital age, our lives are increasingly intertwined with the online world. From social media profiles to online banking accounts, we leave a digital footprint that can be vulnerable to cyber threats. Protecting our digital presence and maintaining online privacy is more important now than ever. In this blog post, we’ll go over the basics of cybersecurity and provide practical tips for protecting your digital footprint.

What Is a Digital Footprint?

A digital footprint refers to the trail of data and information that people leave behind when they use the Internet. It includes any digital record created by a person’s interactions, both active and passive, in the digital world. This includes actions such as posting on social media, sending emails, shopping online, commenting on websites, and even just surfing the web.

The digital footprint can have lasting effects, as data collected and shared online can be archived, multiplied, and potentially accessed by others. It can affect online reputation and even impact future opportunities, such as job prospects or educational opportunities.

How Can the Digital Footprint Be Protected?

First and foremost, better attention should be paid to the information shared online and awareness of privacy settings and potential risks and threats should be created. If proactive measures are taken, individuals can better control their digital presence and minimize the potential negative consequences of their digital footprint. A fundamental step in protecting our digital footprint is increasing our password security. Creating reliable passwords can be a challenge especially when we have multiple accounts to manage. This is where password managers come in. Password managers provide a secure and convenient solution for storing and creating strong passwords. With a password manager, you can use unique, complex passwords for each of your accounts without having to remember them. With the help of these password security practices, we can ensure a safer online experience.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) provides the ability to secure a user’s identity using two separate authentication factors: something the user knows (e.g., a password) and something the user possesses (e.g., a unique verification code or a biometric factor such as a fingerprint). Because authentication requires two different pieces of information, it provides better protection against third-party access, even if a password has already been compromised.

How Can My Digital Footprint Be Accessed?

Under certain circumstances, such as in the workplace, it is possible for others to access your digital data. Such things can happen through: shared devices or accounts: If you share devices such as computers or mobile devices with your co-workers or use shared accounts, others can access your digital footprint. Cloud services and file sharing: If you use cloud services or file sharing platforms for work purposes, you may have certain permissions or access controls in place that allow others in your organization to access or view your files and data. As part of the application process, your digital footprint may also be reviewed. This involves sifting through publicly available information to get a first impression of the applicant.

Either through social media screening, where they specifically look for your profile, public posts, photos, and comments. Or even through a simple online search, the employer can find out what information is publicly available about you. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to conduct self-research to be aware of what information is accessible to others and, if necessary, take necessary steps to manage your online presence. Therefore, pay close attention to what you choose to share with the digital world.

How to Avoid All That?

Simply review your privacy settings and adjust them on social media platforms to control what information is visible to the public or specific people and what you want to restrict. Restrict access to personal or sensitive content that may not be relevant to your professional qualifications.

Protecting your digital footprint is critical today. With the above practices, you can improve your online security, protect your personal data, and minimize the risks of cyber threats. Stay proactive, stay informed, and take control of your digital presence. Worst case scenario, you’ll just have to come up with a new email for every interview!

If you want more tips, you can find more blog posts about this under the tag IT Security.



Responsible for the content of this article is Malak Mostafa.

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