Column: Shrinking Your Digital Shadow

April 1, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Opinion column written by The TLC Group]

From social media posts to online shopping habits, our digital footprint paints a detailed picture of who we are, what we like, and where we’ve been. While this data fuels convenience and personalization, it can also raise concerns about privacy and security.

A large digital footprint exposes you to potential risks like identity theft [readily available personal information can make you a more attractive target for criminals] and privacy breaches [the more data you have out there, the higher the chance it could be compromised].

Shrinking your digital footprint doesn’t mean disconnecting entirely. It’s about striking a balance between convenience and privacy. Here are some practical steps you can take:

TLC Column Shrinking Your Digital Shadow Bermuda April 2024

  • Declutter Your Social Media: Audit your social media accounts and remove inactive ones. Review your privacy settings and limit the information publicly displayed. Consider using temporary accounts for specific purposes.
  • Embrace Privacy-focused Browsers: Switch to a browser like DuckDuckGo that prioritizes user privacy and doesn’t track your browsing activity.
  • Utilize Privacy Extensions: Consider browser extensions that block tracking cookies and prevent websites from collecting your data.
  • Beware of “Free” Services: Think twice before signing up for “free” services that require extensive personal details. Often, your data is the currency they use to operate.
  • Embrace Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication: Use a unique and strong password for each online account, and enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
  • Regularly Review Privacy Settings: Many websites and apps update their privacy settings frequently. Take some time periodically to review and adjust them to your comfort level.
  • Think Before You Post: Once something is online, it’s almost impossible to completely erase it. Be mindful of what you share, especially on social media.

Shrinking your digital footprint is an ongoing process. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t tackle everything at once. Start small, take consistent steps, and gradually create a more secure and private digital space for yourself.

By being mindful of your online activity and implementing these strategies, you’re not just protecting your personal information, you’re setting the tone for how you wish to engage with the world, both online and off.

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