Why it's time to delete your digital footprint

Get a better online experience while protecting your privacy

Man using laptop and smartphone outdoors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Imagine if someone followed you everywhere you went, listening to your conversations, tracking your movements and recording everything you read, said or bought. It'd be awful, and yet that happens every day online – often without your knowledge and sometimes without your permission. That's why it's really important to know about your digital footprint, and to control the information you're sharing online.

Your digital footprint is what's left behind whenever you do something online, such as visiting an online shop, using Google, posting a comment on social media and so on. Those things are recorded, and together they can create a very detailed picture of who you are, what you do and even what you think. That picture can be seen by marketers, potential employers and even potential partners – and it can be a goldmine for online criminals too. The good news is that Norton Anti-Track makes it easy for you to power up your privacy. 

Why should you care about your digital footprint?

There are three key reasons to care about your digital footprint. The first and probably the most important is that if you're not careful about what you're sharing and what's tracking you, that can increase the risk of fraud and other online crimes: the more information a criminal can gather about you, the more effectively they can target you or impersonate you. 

That's a pretty good reason to want to protect your privacy, but there are some other very important ones too. Your digital footprint can affect your reputation too, because the things you do online might be found when someone wants to know more about you. That someone could be a potential employer, a potential customer for your business or even a date.

Our digital footprints are often much bigger and hang around for much longer than we might imagine. And while most digital devices come with some basic security features, they may not be fully equipped for the privacy invaders or help you reduce your digital footprint. But the good news is that with the right tips and tools you can take control of what information you share with the sites you visit, protect your privacy online, and keep your devices safer and more secure.

How to check your digital footprint

The simplest way to start looking at your digital footprints is to do a Google or Bing search for your own name and any previous names. Don't forget to use image search and video search too. And if you use social media, it's a very good idea to go into your privacy settings for each service you use. Social networks are really keen on getting you to share as much data as possible, and possibly share it with a wide audience and advertisers too. You can limit that in the privacy settings.

It's also a good idea to search for your email address(es) using a breach detection service. That's a tool that can tell you if your email has been leaked in a data breach; that's when customer information held by companies gets leaked online. 

Together these tips can help you see what's publicly available. But they can't tell you what secret trackers have been recording, or what information marketers might hold about you. What you can do, though, is use solid antitracking software to limit that tracking and information gathering or prevent it altogether. That's exactly what Norton AntiTrack is designed to do.

The safer way to surf

Norton AntiTrack has anti-fingerprinting technology to prevent sites and services from tracking your online activities. That delivers privacy protection beyond what private browsing can deliver in incognito mode.

That technology also makes your browsing on the internet better. Many websites are absolutely teeming with trackers that can make web pages slow to load or scroll. Norton AntiTrack helps block those trackers and other privacy invaders from loading – and that means faster, smoother, more responsive web pages. It also means less invasive adverts.

Another common privacy invasion is when sites pass on your email address to other companies so they can try and sell you stuff. Norton AntiTrack can stop that too. On Windows, its Private Email masks your private email address, remove hidden email trackers, and create unlimited unique email aliases that you can use instead of your real one when you're signing up for newsletters, ordering online or doing anything else where a site wants your address.

You can get Norton AntiTrack as a stand-alone service.  You can also get additional online privacy as part of certain Norton 360 plans, which get you a VPN so you can use the internet anonymously and help you protect your private information when connected to the internet by sending all your data through an encrypted tunnel; powerful anti-virus and anti-malware protection to prevent spyware and other invaders from getting onto your devices; tools to detect if your personal information is on the dark web; and much more. It can even tell you how your credit report and scores are looking¹, and its protection can be shared across your devices and with your family.

Click here to find out how to protect your privacy, reduce your digital footprint and have a happier, safer online experience.

¹ Norton Credit Portal features provided by TransUnion International UK Limited. Accessible to +18 residents of UK, IOM & Channel Islands, after successful registration & verification. Terms apply.


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