Do you know what personal data of yours circulates on the network?
The Internet is the largest bank of information ever created. This provides many opportunities for learning and entertainment, but also invites us to navigate responsibly and take some precautions so that our personal data or sensitive information does not end up as part of the universal information bank that is the Internet.
For this reason, it is important that you know both what personal information is already on the network and how to avoid the unwanted publication of private data. In this guide you will discover how to detect the information related to you that exists on the Internet, the risks that it entails and the measures to avoid these leaks. In this way, you will navigate with greater security and control over your data in the future.
What information about you exists on the Internet?
At first, it seems that privacy on the Internet is guaranteed. After all, going unnoticed in anonymity is easier. However, each person who uses the Internet leaves a digital footprint (a trail of information with everything we do on the network) when using this service , whether they are aware of it or not. In fact, you can check it just by putting your name in a search engine.
This should not scare you, since it is possible that you will appear through a profile on a social network . On the other hand, if you enrolled in a faculty or course, the lists may be displayed on the organization’s website. However, the modifications in the Data Protection Law tend to restrict the appearance of this information on the network, along with your own ID.
Nor will it be difficult for you to find where you studied or your location. These data are usually displayed on the social networks themselves; that is, they are data that we actively provide to the network. Therefore, you can have a good amount of your own information on the network almost without realizing it. Photos are another way to display personal information.
Also Read: Internet Cookies: How Do They Work?
The risk of publishing information carelessly
As you have seen, posting personal information on the Internet is relatively simple, although legislative advances improve privacy. A first risk is that your data will reach other unknown people . Although this does not necessarily have to imply being the victim of any type of computer attack, it is always better to take preventive measures, either to avoid cybercriminals or to take care of our online reputation.
Another major risk of careless posting of personal information is that you make it easy for people to track you down. This not only allows cybercriminals to find more of your information, but it can also be used by conventional thieves. For example, if you post your vacation photos on your social network in the open, you are informing that you are not at home. You could also unintentionally show your address.
In turn, you could experience cyberbullying. By offering data such as your first and last name, a person with enough skill can find ways to contact you . As in the previous case, it is very likely that this will never happen, but this type of harassment has the potential to be serious. You could receive taunts on your profiles, messages at awkward hours, or the spread of negative rumors about you.
Of course, you expose yourself to having your identity impersonated or having your profiles stolen on social networks or other platforms . By tracking your information, an activity that can take months, people who are interested can end up locating you in different spaces on the network.
Is there any way to know what they do with our data on the Internet?
This question has been gaining weight in recent years. Society is increasingly aware of the risks inherent in its publication. However, you should not panic and stop using the Internet. The important thing is that you take into account the problems that may arise and that you develop the necessary defenses.
Luckily, there are several ways to check what information about you is available online. One of them is to put your name in a search engine . In this simple way, you may see that you appear on different social networks, over which you can exercise strong control. It is also likely that there are still official documents where your data is displayed.
Google allows you to consult a summary of your data from your own account . You just have to visit the control panel, access “Data and Privacy”, “Your data and privacy options”, then “Data from applications and services you use” and, finally, click on “Saved content from Internet services”. Google”. In addition, in each service you can download a copy of the information they contain.
Another option is to use web pages designed to analyze your traces on the Internet. One of them is Mine , which is capable of tracking which companies and services have data related to you . In addition, it allows you to send requests to delete them, identify the ones you use the most and mark them as necessary. Although it will use your email to carry out its investigation, you can easily delete your account without leaving a trace.
Google alerts are also useful. It is possible to configure them to notify you when your name, surname, email, telephone number or ID appears. It is an especially useful tool if you have suffered identity theft, since it will allow you to carry out minimal tracking. However, if you find yourself in this situation, be sure to contact the Police.
How can you avoid leaks of personal information on the network?
Each person can prevent their private information, or much of it, from ending up on the Internet without their consent. You do not need to have advanced knowledge to minimize your exposure . After all, most platforms have tools with which to protect your privacy effectively.
To start taking care of your privacy, take into account the applications that you install both in your browser and on your phone . These usually ask for personal data or access to specific areas of the device. If you do not agree with what they ask you, do not install it and look for an alternative that seems more secure. Luckily, there is a wide variety of options.