Understanding Your Internet Shadow

Understanding Your Internet Shadow

When we use digital services on our laptops or mobile devices, we leave traces online called an internet shadow. Either knowingly or unknowingly, your internet shadow is the sum of all the information you leave behind when using the web.

But what is an internet shadow? Also called a digital or online shadow, it is information you unknowingly leave behind online for scammers to take advantage of and use for unethical and criminal behavior. It is information that you might think is innocent but that hackers can use to gain access to your data. 

How You Might Be Compromising Your Cybersecurity

Remember that old Instagram account you made a few years back, the one with all those selfies in your front yard? 

Hackers can attempt to gain access to your unused accounts with the aim of performing nefarious activities such as carrying out scams and messaging your friends or family from compromised profiles.

They can also gather personal details such as your email address, phone number, and other information you have in your account. 

Selfies and other photos can also be a goldmine for malicious attackers. By zooming in on a picture and looking in the background at things like a computer screen or house number, attackers can find out quite a bit of information. 

Scammers also use the information you post against you. Oversharing little details, even things like your dog’s name, can offer hints to passwords and pose a security risk. 

However, understanding your digital shadow can limit these security risks.

Shine a Light on Your Profile

Do a deep dive into any old accounts or profiles you no longer use and delete them. If you find yourself posting pictures and selfies, remove any that offer personal details, including your location.

Think before you post! Before publishing your photos and videos for the whole world to see, review the foreground and background to make sure there’s nothing revealing. Privacy settings, such as putting your Instagram profile on private and limiting who can see your posts to just friends on Facebook, can further increase security.

Going on vacation? Post those enviable photos after you get back; otherwise, you are alerting potential bad actors that it is likely that your house is empty.

Be honest about how much personal information you share on social media and how secure your network of friends and followers is. Make sure your account privacy settings coincide with your habits and security goals. 

Understanding your internet shadow and taking the correct precautions is just the first step in staying protected online, and that’s why we’re here for the whole journey. Give radius180 a call today at (856) 282-1131, and we’ll work together to ensure your home and office cybersecurity is up to date. 

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