In today’s digital world, data protection is a leading concern for businesses and consumers. What you can do to exercise your right to internet privacy, how to gain control over personal data, and the extent of your digital footprint are all things you need to know for data protection.
There are over 70 people-search sites online that expose public records and personal information. These sites feature data such as your name, address, phone numbers, and email addresses. They may also have the names of your ex-spouse and family members.
Worse yet, they could charge people a fee to see your court records, marriage certificates, and more. According to Statista, 74 percent of internet users say they’re more concerned than ever about internet privacy. And there’s a good reason for concern.
It’s essential to know how to protect your identity online. Unfortunately, there’s often enough information online to buy, sell, market, or steal your assets. Identity theft isn’t anything new. The internet makes it easier.
The good news is you can take control of your online information. If you suspect identity theft, contact the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and submit a fraud alert. Do the same thing with your bank account and creditors.
Truthfully, the single most important thing you need to know about data protection is it pays to be aware. It’s best not to give out your information without giving it some thought first.
For example, people are often victims of telephone or email phishing scams. These scams try to frighten the person into divulging information such as their social security number. It’s not wise to assume an email is legitimate because it has the company logo or an official-looking stamp.
Verify the source before submitting information, especially your social security number, birthdate, driver’s license, and bank account. Additionally, it’s a good idea to monitor your online identity. Search your name on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
Check your credit and bank accounts to determine if there are any suspicious charges or subscriptions. Set up an account with the social security administration, and get a free annual copy of your credit report.
If you’ve ever wondered how to erase your digital footprint, there are steps you can take. Keep in mind that getting rid of everything is nearly impossible. Your data includes every email address you’ve ever had, old social media accounts, addresses, online transactions, traffic, and court records, to name a few.
First, delete all the email and social media accounts you don’t use. Unused accounts are ripe for identity thieves because they often contain personal information. Additionally, all of your contacts in those accounts are at risk.
You can also remove yourself from people-search sites. By law, they have to remove your records if you send a written request. Delete any apps that you don’t use and be careful about downloading apps, in general.
Want more? Keep reading our blog for more advice on what you need to know about data protection.