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How to Clean Up Your Online Footprint

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clean up online footprint

In today’s world, almost everybody spends most of their day online. Whether it’s for work or communicating with friends and family, or just watching your favorite TV show on your Apple TV, we do a lot of what we do via the internet. One of the biggest things that we all enjoy when online is using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. You might even have had a Myspace account, which you never used.

There are countless channels available to use to broadcast bits about your life or to keep in touch with friends (or celebs!), but the more you have, the more of an online digital footprint you leave behind, which makes it tough when you decide to clean it up. And that is not always a good thing.

Your life is out there

You might remember when Facebook first came out. How exciting it was to set up your profile with some zany description and an even crazier photo for your profile; how fun it was to connect to all your old school friends. Then you’d have people who would want to befriend you on Facebook after only meeting you once. Nowadays, people are growing up on Facebook, and it just seems normal.

Over time the platform has changed, with celebrities, online personalities, and any wannabe YouTuber using it to promote their content. Still, if you’re on it and using it, whatever you’re putting out there is still all about you. It could be photos of your family, your dog, your food, or even viral videos you’re trying to break the internet with.

No doubt you’ve heard stories about how open profiles on Facebook have led to disastrous results. Such as potential employers looking up your social media and finding out that perhaps you’re too weird to work in a serious corporate office. Or a current employer seeing your holiday pics when you’re supposed to be off work ill.  These are just some examples of how your personal life can easily be found out when online.

Think about how much can be found on Instagram? Since it became hugely popular, people love sending up snaps of their life or holiday pics, but this is all information that can be accessed online. Likewise, whatever you say on Twitter can always come back to bite you if you’re not careful. James Gunn was sacked by Marvel (then hired again) after old tweets resurfaced, which just goes to show that once you’ve stepped online, it can be tough to get rid of or clean up your online footprint.

But not that tough.

Clearing out online

It’s not just social media that leaves a trail of your identity across the web. Each website you visit will try and track you with cookies unless you laboriously go through the process of turning them off on each website you visit.

Saved passwords and usernames, online tracking, internet service providers keeping a watchful eye – every time you go online, your various digital footprints can be discovered. The last thing you want is for somebody to get hold of your personal information. Even worse, if you’ve got social media accounts you rarely use, you don’t want to have a James Gunn incident on your hands.

Twitter is one of the biggest culprits and one to be wary of. Especially when over the last few years they’ve been found guilty of sharing information and been victims of large scale data hacks, with big-name celebrities, including Barack Obama, falling foul. As you can imagine, the first thing you’ll want to know is how to delete your Twitter account, especially if you’re not using it. Don’t worry; it’s a fairly simple process:

Log in to your Twitter account and find your settings. Select your account and then select ‘deactivate.’

We told you it was simple. But you can always read more about how to deactivate your Twitter from the app as well.

Don’t forget the alternative

Perhaps you don’t want to erase your Twitter account just yet. Even with all the data mining that’s associated with it. The good news is that you don’t have to. You can still use the social platform, but to maximize security and protect your identity online, you can always use a VPN. It will mask your IP address, so not only will it protect you from cybercriminals, but you’ll also have the added security of the VPN technology. And you can use a VPN to get around any geo-restrictions, so you can use Twitter wherever you are, whenever you like. With this, you will never have to clean up your online footprint.

But note, although all your internet traffic is protected, everything you say and do on Twitter will be from your own account.

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