Want Your Data Private, Then Check Your Digital Foot Print

Check Your Digital Foot Print

Typing your own name into Google may prove an eye-opening experience.  Even if your personal information isn’t easily accessible, your computer may be sharing information about your habits, preferences and activities that you’d prefer to remain private.  Here’s how to keep a lid on what your computer shares about you with strangers.

digital footprint
by-VinothChandar

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have the right to change their privacy options at will and some exercise this right regularly (I’m talking to you, Facebook).  Even if you meticulously reviewed each setting when you activated your account, system updates can change default settings, or add new rules that effect posts.  The only way to make sure you aren’t “over-sharing” is to regularly review your account’s privacy settings in detail.  Aim to do a thorough audit every six months.

More information about how to audit your Facebook privacy settings can be found here: http://www.callnerds.com/control-facebook/.

The main option for Twitter users to consider is if you want to leave your account public (so that any Twitter user can see your posts) or make it private by selecting “Protect my Tweets” via the account settings menu.  If you check the box, future Tweets will only be visible to people you approve to follow you.  While you’re here, click the box next to “Always use HTTPS” to connect securely whenever possible.

AdjustYourPrivacy (http://adjustyourprivacy.com/) is a free resource that provides a collection of links that allow you to update the privacy settings on each of your major accounts, from YouTube to Yahoo.  This saves you hunting through each site manually for their privacy settings page and offers a great way to ensure that you don’t forget any of the accounts you have floating out on the web.  Their tools also allow you to conduct a detailed search to find out what information about you is publicly available.  It even offers suggestions for ways to beef up your privacy and keep it under control.

Don’t forget that apps you install on Facebook have access to your personal information, regardless of if you are using them actively.  Many can post to your Twitter feed, access your LinkedIn data or connect to your email, and it’s difficult to limit an application’s permissions individually.  MyPermissions ) can automatically scan your apps permissions so that you can choose which ones to ditch and it will send you alerts when applications obtain access to your private information.

If you’d prefer to audit your Facebook apps manually, click on App Center (left of your Newsfeed), then choose My Apps (at the bottom).  Delete using the X button that appears when you hover your cursor over one, or modify how the application interacts with your Home Page by clicking on Settings under each one.

The last time you were surfing the web, did you notice that advertisements seemed eerily targeted toward you?  Your internet navigation is most likely being tracked.  DuckDuckGo (http://fixtracking.com/) offers a tracking-free search engine, or links to add-ons for your favorite browser that block third-party trackers.  It also provides detailed instructions on how to adjust your Internet Explorer options to prevent websites from accessing your location information.

Deleting old accounts where you’ve stored personal information is a great idea, but can be harder than you might think.  AccountKiller (www.accountkiller.com) provides links and instructions to make account termination easy for all major websites around the Internet.  Before opening a new account, check their “whitelist” and “blacklist.”  Those on the “blacklist” make deleting your profile very difficult should you ever want to do so in the future.  A few surprising sites to make the blacklist: Fox Sports, CNN, Starbucks and Whole Foods.  Who knew?

By:  Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer repair service for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Computer Nerds On Call a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight.

29 COMMENTS

  1. 841014 805328Interested in start up a online business on line denotes revealing your service also providers not only to humans within your town, nevertheless , to numerous future prospects which are cyberspace on many occasions. pays day-to-day 788997

  2. 16105 861231I ran into this page accidentally, surprisingly, this really is an excellent website. The site owner has done an excellent job writing/collecting articles to post, the information here is truly insightful. You just secured yourself a guarenteed reader. 285738

  3. 19139 49447Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read? 420874

  4. 446753 467543Thank you for this. Thats all I can say. You most surely have created this into something thats eye opening and critical. You clearly know so significantly about the subject, youve covered so several bases. Excellent stuff from this part of the internet. 291978

  5. 36670 117583This douche bag loves his illegal bretheren because hes a itiaen with the world and we really should be ashamed of ourselves I got news for you Asswipe get your asswiping ass back to the craphole exactly where you came from with all of your illegal beaners 568542

  6. 308722 133014This put up is totaly unrelated to what I used to be seeking google for, however it was indexed on the initial page. I guess your doing something proper if Google likes you adequate to place you at the very first page of a non related search. 370706

  7. 627487 710103Particular paid google internet pages offer complete databases relating whilst personal essentials of persons whilst range beginning telephone number, civil drive public records, as properly as criminal arrest back-ground documents. 272767

  8. 51439 615707Hi! I discovered your website accidentally today, but am actually pleased that we did! Its not only entertaining, but in addition straightforward to make use of in contrast to lots that Ive viewed! 634905

  9. 39330 246275just couldnt leave your web web site before suggesting that I really loved the normal details a person give for your visitors? Is gonna be again ceaselessly to check up on new posts 377791

  10. 850274 79577Hello! I merely would like to give a huge thumbs up for the fantastic info youve here on this post. I may well be coming back to your weblog for far more soon. 831713

  11. 901090 99041OK 1st take a good appear at your self. What do you like what do you not like so considerably. Function on that which you do not like. But do not listen to other individuals their opinions do not matter only yours does. Function on having the attitude that this is who youre and if they dont like it they can go to hell. 619049

  12. 884768 592528Jane wanted to know though your girl could certain, the cost I just informed her she had to hang about until the young woman seemed to be to old enough. But the truth is, in which does not get your girlfriend to counteract utilizing picking out her really own incorrect body art terribly your lady are typically like me. Citty design 723640

  13. 622873 975246Be the precise blog in case you have wants to learn about this subject. You comprehend considerably its nearly onerous to argue to you (not that I personally would needHaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin for a topic thats been discussing for some time. Nice stuff, merely good! 789648

  14. 749890 123698Thank you for the excellent writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate? 433673

  15. 194772 318659Hey mate, .This was an excellent post for such a hard subject to speak about. I look forward to seeing many much more superb posts like this one. Thanks 559862

  16. We still cannot quite think I was able to often be the type checking important points on your webblog. Our kids and i are sincerely thankful to the generosity plus for giving me possibility pursue our chosen profession path. I am glad information Manged to get through your web-site.

  17. 157643 411695Aw, this became an extremely nice post. In thought I would like to set up writing like that additionally – taking time and actual effort to create an excellent article but what / issues I say I procrastinate alot by means of no means appear to get something completed. 546174

  18. 104696 214079Oh my goodness! an wonderful post dude. Thanks a ton Nonetheless I will be experiencing dilemma with ur rss . Do not know why Not able to join it. Can there be everybody acquiring identical rss issue? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 415724

  19. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was once entirely right. This put up actually made my day. You can not consider simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here