Take inventory of your digital footprint

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and as we lead up to a month focused on how to protect ourselves online at work, the next few weeks let’s focus on how to protect you at home. we hope this several week series will spur thinking and discussion about how to protect your personal digital assets.

Take inventory of your digital footprint

Your digital footprint is large and cannot be erased. While there are emerging features in social media related to disappearing posts where you get to schedule the deletion of your posts in advance, there’s no global delete button that you can press to erase your digital tracks. Any attempt at this would need to be done one web site at a time and would be incredibly difficult, time consuming, and likely only marginally successful.

With your information scattered everywhere, it’s important to think about what valuable information you have where. For example, how many web sites are storing your credit card info? How many have an up-to-date card number and expiration date? Where do you have important documents, files, and videos across the web? You can start by making a list in a spreadsheet and noting the types of sensitive data associated with each site. If there are particular sites that you no longer use, you may also want to delete your account profiles there.