Reducing your Digital Footprint
Important information from CIRMA and the Multi State Information Sharing and Analysis Center:
At work or at home, reducing your 'digital footprint' will help you and your municipality or school guard against identity theft and other types of cyber crimes:
Review your online accounts. In your professional or personal life, you may have many online accounts on vendor websites, social media platforms, document storage sites, or professional organizations that require you to enter, store, and sometimes share information about you or your organization. It is good practice to:
- Delete old accounts that you no longer use.
- Remove information that isn’t needed anymore, such as credit card information and old documents on cloud storage. And,
- Make sure the passwords for each of these accounts is strong and unique.
Email Accounts. Is there information in your email accounts that you can archive or delete? For security reasons, it’s good to limit what is stored in your email account.
Social Media. Review your security settings, friends, and connections, and posts to make sure you’re still comfortable with them.
Devices. Make sure your device’s security software is working properly and anti-virus software is installed, and all software is patched and set to auto-update.
- Delete unused apps and clear out any downloads you don't use on your personal smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers.
- Make sure your device requires a password, pin, or fingerprint to log-in.
- Check for old files that can be archived or deleted.
Take Out the Trash. Are there old devices in your house or office that should be recycled? it’s easy to accumulate CDs, DVDs, hard drives, and USB drives that are no longer needed or have obsolete data. If you have hard drives or USB drives with old data but want to continue to use them, consider following US-CERT’s guidance on how to securely clean the data off of these items. Shred physical media before discarding! Many shredders, including those rated for home use, can shred CDs and DVDs; if not available, use a professional service.
A smaller digital footprint makes you a smaller target for cyber criminals.