Our digital footprints follow us everywhere we go but it takes more than a gust of wind to cover them up.
It reminds me of that movie, Gattaca. It’s set in a world in the not-too-distant future where genetic engineering is used to create perfect human beings. Their purpose on earth is predetermined even before conception.
Besides the obvious ethics of genetic engineering, what really bothered me was how they’re their genes make up who they are as a person (and not just literally). So this means that they’re DNA – their hair, skin flakes, fingerprints, and eyes are used to identify them. It’s almost impossible to hide who they are because as much as they try to, they can’t stop a hair or a skin flake from falling.
What we do on the internet, out in the open or privately, tells the world who we are. Similar to this ‘futuristic’ world, it is very difficult to control what traces we leave behind. Our online activities and information is more and more available as tracking our online data becomes a common practice.
If you wanted to cover up your tracks completely, the easiest way would be by not making them, which would mean not using the internet but let’s be realistic – that’s never happening and it doesn’t have to. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Secure your browsing. You can browse using a search engine that doesn’t track you, like Duck Duck Go.
- Try to input as little of your real information as possible. Instead of writing in a forum or signing up for an e-newsletter with your official email address, create a separate account for these sort of things. You should even create a nickname for yourself that you can identify with but that can’t come back to you.
- Take care of the privacy of your social media profiles. You don’t want any Joe-Blo to be able to search you in Google. Some accounts even let you customize what your public profile looks like. Here are a couple guides; Facebook & Twitter.
- Speaking of social media – control who can access that private information. Yup, we can help you there! We can help you control it from your mobile with our app and/or with our browser extension. You can find them here.
- Sensor yourself. Remove any sensitive information about yourself that you have in your profiles and think before you post things online.
- Clear your cookies. I know they’re yummy but in the internet world cookies are used by many websites and placed on your computer to track every move and create a profile of you, often without your consent. This guide on PCWorld shows you how to remove them.