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Our top tips to help protect your digital footprint

_RMHS Yr 7 Lifestyle 2023__Y2A6341-CR3_Protecting your digital footprint is so important to help manage your online reputation and keep you safe from potential fraud or horrible scams. Here are our top six tips to help you protect your digital footprint:

1. Change your privacy setting: A lot of social media sites will set your account to 'public' by default. Changing your privacy settings to 'private' allows you to control who can see your posts and whether they’ll appear on search engines. Note that during device upgrades or when new features are added, privacy settings for some software is often changed, exposing your personal information. Always re-check the privacy settings on your device after every upgrade and review what personal information eg location, certain applications have access to when they are installed or updated.

2. THINK before you post

Assess if what you’re sharing online is

True
Helpful
I
nspiring
Necessary
K
ind

Remember, it’s not always about your own social posts. If you ‘like’ someone else’s post, this can be seen as endorsement that others are able to see. Make sure you are happy to be associated with the accounts and comments that you follow and actively like.

3. Check what data is collected: A lot of apps will ask for permission to use your data when you install them, including your contacts, photos and location. Be careful what you agree to and pick apps and browsers that give you the option to protect your privacy. When you visit sites and you’re asked whether you accept cookies, make sure you check what the website says about how they’ll use them before you agree.

4. Delete unused apps and accounts: If you no longer use your profile on a website, social media platform or app make sure you deactivate it. Deactivating a profile will mean that the content on it will no longer be searchable. 

5. Delete unflattering content: Go through all your social media posts, comments and likes, and edit or delete anything that you find questionable, too revealing or unflattering. Tell others what you are happy for them to share about you too and ask for your name, details or photo to be removed anywhere online you aren’t happy with. If it still shows up in Google search even after you’ve requested deleting the content, you can fill out Google’s URL Removal tool to have the issue resolved.

6. Search yourself online: Understand what your digital footprint looks like. Type your name or username into a search engine to find what is readily available about you online, and do this regularly to keep up to date with your own footprint. If you can find something detrimental, then others can too, so if you aren’t happy with what you see take steps to change it!

To learn more about what your digital footprint is and why it is important to protect please click HERE.

Date Posted: 2 January, 2024

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