3 ways to reduce your digital footprint and improve privacy

A new year gives you a chance to start fresh. For many, this means gutting their home and putting up new curtains. But there’s something more important to take care of – your digital devices. Click here or click here for technical cleanups for your inbox, network and gadgets.

Let’s dive deeper into your digital life. Whether you know it or not, your private and personal information is all over the internet. No need to be active on social media or forums. Most information comes from publicly available sources, such as court records and your online accounts (active or otherwise).

Here are three ways to reduce your digital footprint and maintain privacy.

Just delete yourself

Surprise, surprise—the companies behind your apps and accounts don’t want you to leave. They often make opting out or deleting your account a complicated process. They only add obstacles such as making it possible to remove from the browser. If all else fails, you may need to contact the company directly.

Fortunately, there is a site designed for exactly this problem. Go to Justdeleteme and click or type the name of the service, app, or account you want to delete your data from.

Justdeleteme uses color codes for how difficult the deletion process is for the site: green is easy, yellow is medium, red is hard, and black is impossible. An example of a black-labeled site is Acorns, which you should contact for deactivation.

Click the name above the colored box to be directed to the section of that site that allows you to delete your accounts. you can also click on it Display the information If you find yourself stuck and need more backgrounds, click the button.

The more online accounts you have, the more at risk you are when hackers come calling. With a new breach around every corner, your usernames and passwords are not safe. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of programs you don’t use. This will help protect your data.

For more information about justdeleteme, tap or click here.

Give up on Tuesday (and every day).

Have you ever seen an ad to find information about anyone on the Internet? These come from people search sites that collect personal information and sell it to anyone interested. This can include people you don’t want to come into contact with, such as a jealous ex. Then there are the hackers and scammers who can really do the damage.

People search sites pull your information from local, state, and federal public records, court records, social media, forums, and other sources. They may also receive information from data brokers.

Your name, address, date of birth, gender, marital status, family members, social media profiles, education level, property records, financial records, phone number, police records, employment information, etc. there to buy (and sell).

So what can you do about it? You can opt out of these sites, which is usually a simple process. The problem is that you will have to do this for each site one by one.

But do not despair! We’ve combined the entries from our weekly Opt-Out Tuesday series into one post with instructions on how to remove yourself from over 30 of these invasive sites! Click or click here for our disclaimer mega post.

Delete your posts from social media

When it comes to privacy breaches, social media is among the biggest culprits. Companies share your information with others or use it for advertising. And the sheer size of databases makes them prime targets for hacks and breaches.

Many people over-share on social media, including their contact information and posts that can help anyone find out where they work and live. Here are five social media dos and don’ts.

The best way to protect your privacy is to delete your social media accounts, and we have instructions here for Twitter and Facebook.

We understand that you are not ready to say goodbye to social media. Maybe it’s the only way you can connect with people you don’t see often. The next best thing is to delete your old posts to reduce the amount of information people can find about you.

But who wants to wade through hundreds or thousands of old posts for each account? Nobody, who is he? This is where Redact comes into play. This free tool makes it easy to mass delete posts, files, images, and direct messages (DMs).

Redact works for over 20 sites and apps, including Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, and TikTok.

After downloading the program, open it and select the service you want to clean. You will have different options for the types of data you want to delete. Preview your changes and start deleting. Depending on how much data you are getting rid of, it may take a while.

Best of all, Redact does not store your personal information or log your messages or service credentials. However, it may record user actions, error warnings, and events to troubleshoot issues.

For more information on Redact, click or click here.

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