6 tips from an expert to erase your mark on the Internet

It is becoming increasingly difficult to control the personal data we share online. The specialist offers us the keys to control our digital footprint

As we browse the web and apps, we leave behind a trace that is a digital footprint. As we browse the web and apps, we leave behind a trace that is a digital footprint.

As we browse the web and apps, we leave behind a trace that is a digital footprint. (ABBPhoto via Getty Images)

Were you surprised to see an ad on social media for something you were talking about with a friend this morning? How does your mobile phone know that you are out of toothpaste? Do you know what your fingerprint is? Photo. Personal keys. Family information. Bank details. Tastes and preferences. It is impossible to imagine what the Internet knows about you..

By using our communications so often digitally, we end up leaving a mark that marks our profile. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to prevent this, but it is possible to eliminate some of the trace we leave behind when we browse the Internet. In many cases, mostly out of ignorance, we tend to allow our data to remain in the hands of social networks, websites and apps.

Sibel Oliveira, director of the Brazilian organization Casa Hacker, suggests Yahoo Finance 6 recommendations on how to clear your fingerprint:

1. Find out who is talking about you

Analyze what results your personal search gives you on Google, Brave, Edge, FireFox or any other search engine. Even information that appears about you in incognito mode. Using the Data Detox Kit, created by Mozilla in 2017, the specialist offers guidance on daily actions to take control of your privacy, security and well-being.

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2.Try to directly request the removal of information.

“You can directly contact the website where you found the information and ask for it to be removed,” explains Oliveira. Google, for example, offers itself as an intermediary to manage these requests on abusive sites.

3. Close social networks you don’t use.

Not only is it enough to log out, you also need to delete your profile. Each platform has a different way of doing this and a higher degree of difficulty. “In 2018, following the Cambridge Analytical scandal, a harmful Facebook practice became apparent: shadow profiling. It involves collecting information from users without their consent. Now, according to other privacy laws, your data must be deleted if necessary,” the specialist recalls.

4. Read the fine print

Each platform has its own rules and policies, so it’s always important to read what’s allowed. Oliveira warns that some people tend to rely heavily on images when uploading photos and data. “It belongs to them now.”

READ ALSO: New trend of “rent a friend”: 5 apps that allow you to earn money simply for communication or emotional support

5. Organize your phone

Uninstall unused apps and adjust app settings. Adjust your browsers and search engines. Turn on your privacy settings. Remove unused apps on your phone and limit settings. “Smart devices need smart users: adjust settings and limit data collection,” says the specialist.

6. Rely on companies offering “cleaning” services

While you can do this “by hand”, Oliveira explains that there are companies dedicated to this activity. You can pay anywhere from $120 to $200 per year to hire a digital tracking and cleanup service that is ranked among the top companies by specialty site Zdnet. They offer the ability to not only access old email and social media accounts, but also check personal data stored in various online services. DeleteMe, Incogni and Kanary are at the top of their list.


Google is committed to ending the use of passwords

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