Digital footprints are becoming more important because of social media, With the surge in the growth of technology, more than half the world’s population, some 4.3 billion people are connected on the Internet.Everything is connected in the digital age. There are no longer perimeters to a financial institution, country, or continent.
Businesses acquiring new companies, development staff implementing online testing and of course, a lengthy trail created by employees, suppliers and partners transacting and socialising online. A person’s digital footprint is the data that’s left behind whenever they use a digital service.
Even if someone doesn’t actively engage in online activities, chances are that others are contributing to their digital footprint by posting photographs or information about them online. Digital footprints and digital footprinting are not one and the same, but both are employed by cybercriminals as part of a coordinated campaign to gather intelligence with a view to stealing an organisation’s sensitive data or intellectual property (IP), or to cause reputational damage.
It is time to seriously consider the implications of leaving your personal data exposed. It is worrying if you aren’t tech-driven to even begin to try to wrap your head around what is at stake.
By 2020, 21 billion ‘things’ will be connected; from phones, music, lighting, cars, cameras, home appliances etc. We no longer exist in isolation. The technology and innovation are accelerating and being disrupted every day. One must thus be proactive about taking steps to try to secure your business or at least reduce its vulnerability from attacks. This is one of the greatest risks we face today.
Most cybercriminals searching the web for business owners with weak security controls, and identifying potential misconfigurations and vulnerabilities.Although digital footprints cannot be completely removed, there are ways to reduce the risk they pose
Steps you can take to protect yourself.
1 .Have different email address:
Try and separate your email ID of your business from that of your profiles, so you have a personal one for social media, a private one for work, and even a separate account to pay your bills.
2 .Download with caution
That strange email that you aren’t quite sure of, don’t click on it. That is one of the most commonly deployed mechanisms for hackers to get into your system.
3. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive matters
Free wireless internet ‘hotspots’ are often not at all secure. Use secure websites for your transactions; the address will usually start with ‘https’ SSL and there is a key or closed padlock with a green in the status bar.
It is a far more secure using a personal hotspot through your phone Rather than public wifi. If you are travelling and must get on line in a public space such as an airport or cyber-café, be particularly careful about sensitive transactions as your information could be compromised.
4. Use different passwords:
Don’t use the same passwords for different accounts. Store them in a password manager if you need and dont store your password on your email account
Reusing the same password for everything puts you at extremely high risk of being hacked. Change your passwords and PIN numbers periodically, and use different codes for different accounts. We are so used to passwords including letters, numbers, symbols etc and for our own comfort we tend to use easy to remember words, family birthdays, pets names etc; they are so easy to decipher. Be creative about your choice of passwords and PIN numbers.
5. Understand what you posting on social media?
“Every single time you decide to post something that’s publicly available, make sure you understand what the ramifications are. How much of your personal information is out there? What are you posting? In our world of social media with twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, it seems so natural to put seemingly innocent information about yourself and your family out there. Geo-tagged photos inform people exactly where you are; this could expose you and your family to crime.
6. Ignore phone calls or email requests for personal information
Your bank and other legitimate companies will never request for sensitive information such as passwords and PINs by email; these are usually fraudsters attempting to defraud you. Contact your bank directly and report such incidents.
7. Understand your privacy controls for different social profiles and check to see what they are. Create a blank profile and use it to see what privacy controls are on your own accounts.
8. Backup your data
Back up your personal data to the cloud or an external hard drive so that if the worst happens and your device is lost, stolen or compromised, you can recover at least most of it. A periodic back up, say weekly or monthly is important so that you can access the most up-to-date data. you can use any of the online backup service like, Dropbox,Box,Comodo Backup,CrashPlan and BuddyBackup
With this reconmendations your financial information will be completely secure even if you put all these measures in place.