Did you know 5.3 billion people around the world use the internet, and 4.95 billion active social media identities existed at the start of Q4 2023?
Online identities or digital footprints are the foundation of the data-driven world, and highly valuable assets for businesses, organizations and governments.
Unfortunately, from a user’s perspective, digital footprints are taken for granted, with individuals carelessly surrendering their online reputation and personal information to cybercriminal activity every day (through hacks, fraud, impersonation and more).
Many a time we have stressed the importance of maintaining a positive digital footprint and limiting the amount of information one should share online to prevent unwanted attention from crooks who use publicly available data about you to illegally access online profiles and bank accounts.
Make these practices a part of your online routine to optimize your digital footprint, reduce it and safeguard what matters most – YOU-
1. Avoid disclosing your personal information online
The internet is crawling with cybercriminals and ill-intended individuals who thrive on careless exposure of information. One way internet thieves can get ahold of this information is by sending phishing links and messages to trick you into freely handing over your data. Others simply scour the web for publicly available data from social media profiles or turn to specialized marketplaces on the dark web where they can access billions of exposed user records from data breaches and leaks.
As far as your online privacy and safety go, sharing less is more! Never give out information about yourself online or via unsolicited messages. The less data you give, the safer you’ll be in case of a breach.
2. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible
Two-factor authentication, often referred to as 2FA, offers a higher level of security to your online accounts, many of which hold sensitive financial data. Good cyber-hygiene dictates you should enable an additional layer of security to ensure the safety of your accounts and private data in case of a data breach or leak that exposes your credentials.
3. Check if your credentials have been stolen in data breaches
Account information exposed or stolen in a data breach puts you at risk of becoming a victim of identity thieves. With awareness, or knowing when and what information has been leaked online, you can minimize the chances of fraud, account takeovers and other internet mishaps.
With Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection, there’s no more losing track of your digital identity and online exposure to data breaches and leaks. Our identity protection tool acts as your safety net whenever key and sensitive elements of your digital footprint are unwittingly exposed online.
You can discover the extent of the digital you and fight against identity crimes with the industry’s first Identity Protection Score and personalized risk map, features that allow you to understand how every individual data breach (you ever fell victim to) can affect you and take the necessary corrective steps to protect your identity.