Tips on managing your digital identity

In the loosest of terms, if a person has been “online” — had an email account, used an app or done anything ‘smart’ — then it’s hard to fathom the digital footprints that have been left behind. If that’s hard to fathom then perhaps it’s unimaginable to not be a citizen of the digital world. In case you’ve just had it with social media, apps, smartphones or the internet in general, here’s how you can go about managing your digital footprint. Do keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to get off everything but you can make a start and leave only a few remnants of your digital identity.
Press Cmd+Delete or Shift + Delete on useless accounts
The first thing you need to do is delete every old — email, social media, shopping among others — an account that you have created. So it could be the first cringe-inducing email ID you perhaps had on Yahoo or Hotmail or Rediffmail (yes, there were email accounts on Rediff). Or that MySpace account that seemed pretty cool back then but is a dud now. You can try and in one swoop get some of the popular accounts yanked off for once and all. There’s also JustDeleteMe, which tells you how easy/hard/impossible it is to delete popular accounts that you may have created once upon a time.

Check if you have ever been hacked or if data has been compromised
Haveibeenpwned is a great tool to check whether your data has ever been hacked. If your data has been leaked then chances are that some part of your digital identity will always be online. But what you can do is check what accounts have been compromised and then get down to deleting them. Be ready to spend a lot of time doing this.
Junk your social media history
Embarrassing tweets? Perhaps. Cringeworthy Facebook posts? Chances are high. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t allow you to bulk delete your old tweets but there are third-party services/apps that can do it for you. Facebook makes it easier as you can go to “Settings & Privacy” and then head to “Activity log” and delete those less-said-the-better kinds of posts. The point of this being is if someone searches you on Google, then images, and posts from Facebook will pop up, so it’s better to junk them if you want to.

Be vigilant, be aware
It’s a pity but a vast chunk of people online are pretty careless with their data and hence end up sharing a lot more than they should or they know of. Choose browsers, search engines, and apps that aren’t data-hungry or are always lurking in the background.

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