10 Steps To Erasing Your Digital Footprint (Part II/II)


(Continued from Part I/II)

6. Have an alternate email account

Almost all services online require you to submit an email address to register with them and before use. Creating an alternate email account for these sites can help keep your digital footprint to a minimum.

If you need to send an untraceable email, use Guerrilla Mail for temporary, disposable email addresses.  You can set the time period for which the email address will be active.  You can also avoid disposable email blocks and generate untrackable email from your own domain.  Our job is not to question our readers motives as we all know that everyone has the need for anonymity or untraceability at some point in our digital lives.

7. Opt for the ‘right to be forgotten’

The ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling  recently enforced in Europe  means that search engines can be made to remove links to publicly available news items from their search results. While Google has appealed the ruling, many links have been removed — although this has resulted in the creation of lists to de-indexed pages in its stead — due to the belief that irrelevant and inaccurate information gives a data subject the right to request removal from a search engine data controller.

8. Delete unused e-commerce and retail accounts

Delete unused/inactive retail accounts, such as eBay and Amazon and any others that may contain your financial data. Given the massive uptick in cyberattacks on major retailers and services, and if you no longer use your account, there’s no need to keep sensitive data stored on company servers.

9.  Stay below the radar

For the average home/small business user, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer InPrivate Browsing, Chrome’s Incognito mode, and Firefox’s Private Window can limit trackable data — such as cookies — being collected by services as you browse.

10. Start fresh

Although extreme, if you have the need, wiping all of the aforementioned services and deleting your email inbox can be the best way to remove your footprint. Very little is ever truly forgotten, but falsifying social media account names, locking up security settings tightly, deleting email inboxes and e-commerce accounts will help wipe your presence from the Web.

Just remember that there is only so much you can do and that online information is reposited somewhere in the cloud and there will never be a thorough scrubbing of your digital footprint.  At best, your online presence can be minimized or modified in such a manner as to render search results fairly useless.  But, of course, the best was to control your digital footprint is to post as minimally as possible.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

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