What’s a Digital Footprint and How Do I Protect Myself from Hackers? 

What's a Digital Footprint and How Do I Protect Myself from Hackers? 

There has been an uptick in cyber-attacks and hacking scandals that leave consumers vulnerable to nefarious third parties trying to exploit their personal information for malicious ends. To safeguard your personal and financial data from potential hackers, you need to understand how these nefarious actors might gain access to your digital footprint and take steps to prevent them from doing so again.

Unfortunately, you can never be too safe when browsing the net. While it’s true that technology’s advancement has given us a copious amount of resources, it’s also a great breeding ground for cyber criminals to get hold of people’s confidential information.

Despite living in a world that’s more connected than ever, erring on the side of caution is always advisable. This is why many websites choose to implement all the safety and security measures, giving their customers the peace of mind they need. In a post-pandemic era, where most face-to-face activities have been shifted online, there has never been a more important time to address this issue. Even a simple hobby such as playing at a no deposit online casino brings with it a fair deal of apprehension, and with reason. Players need to know they’re accessing a site that’s safe and that any sensitive data divulged isn’t compromised.

What Is A Digital Footprint?

A digital footprint is the trail of personal data that you automatically leave behind every time you use technology. This information can include things like your IP address, email address, bank account information, and other identifiable data. A hacker can use this information to break into your accounts or steal your identity. Your digital footprint can even lead a hacker to your physical address and phone number. The good news is that your digital footprint is not set in stone, you can take steps to protect yourself.

 protecting Yourself from Hackers 

The less information about yourself you leave behind, the less attractive you are to hackers. Keep your Operating System updated, make sure you’re running the latest version of your OS, hackers exploit security flaws that are found in older versions of software. Be careful with your passwords, it’s your first line of defense, choose passwords that would be hard to guess. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using names, dates, or words that could be found in the dictionary. Don’t click on suspicious links or emails. A common way to hack into people’s accounts is by sending emails that trick you into clicking on a link or downloading a file.

 How Can A Hacker Use My Digital Footprint? 

There are many ways hackers can use your digital footprint to break into your accounts and steal your identity. Here are some examples of how a hacker can use your digital footprint.

  • Stealing your online banking account information – if you use your online banking account regularly, hackers may find your IP address, email address, and physical address and steal your account.
  • Finding out your physical address – some websites ask you to enter your physical address. If you enter this information, a hacker can use it to find out where you live.
  • Stealing your identity – your email address, phone number, and physical address can be used to reset your passwords and steal your identity. –
  • ‘Breaking into’ your bank account – hackers can steal your details and use them to transfer money out of your account.
  • Hacking your email account – hackers can use your email account to break into other accounts you have and steal your information.
  • Accessing other accounts – if you use the same password for all your accounts, a hacker can break into one account and use that information to break into others.

5 Tips To Stay Safe From Hackers 

While it’s true hackers are quite knowledgeable when it comes to their illegal practices, there are still ways to protect yourself, even if you don’t consider yourself that tech savvy. Below are five useful tips to follow:

  1. Cover your computer’s webcam – hackers can use your webcam to record your actions and break into your accounts. Covering your webcam when you’re not using it can prevent this.
  2. Secure your wi-fi–hackers often break into their victims’ wi-fi connections to steal data. Therefore, you need to make sure your connection is secured. Do this by changing the password on your Wi-Fi at home and making sure it uses strong encryption.
  3. Use a VPN – a Virtual Private Network hides your IP address and encrypts your data to make it more challenging for hackers to steal.
  4. Createstrong passwords – use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use the same password for all your accounts, and make sure you change your passwords regularly.
  5. Protect any devices you share – if you share a device with other people, you could accidentally leave your digital footprint on their accounts. Change the passwords on any devices you share.

3 Ways You’re Inadvertently Giving Out Your Digital Footprint 

If you’re not careful, you may be giving out your digital footprint freely already. Some of the ways you may be unintentionally leaving behind data that could be used by hackers are:

  • Using a public wi-fi – If you connect to public wi-fi, you leave behind your IP address and other information that could be used to break into your accounts.
  • Downloading files from torrent websites – Torrent websites let you download files for free. But in exchange for this service, you leave behind your IP address on a public file that anyone can see. Some of these files may also contain viruses.
  • Using public computers – If you use public computers to access your accounts, you may leave behind data that can be used to break into your accounts.

 Indubitably, technology’s advancement has indeed afforded us commodities we may not have even imagined a couple of decades ago. But, this doesn’t mean taking certain precautions should be thrown out the window. If you keep the above-mentioned tips in mind, you may be less susceptible to becoming a victim of cybercrime.