What goes online, stays online
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Cheshire Police is sharing top tips on how to stay safe online and how to make sure you leave a good digital footprint.
Your digital footprint is part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked and held in a database… or many databases.
The Constabulary is sharing how to minimise your digital footprint, or make sure it’s a good one:
- Don’t overshare information about yourself, family members or friends that would be better kept private. That’s on social media, on websites and apps requesting details and in response to texts and messages.
- Think before you post. Even if your social media privacy settings are set up correctly, there’s no guarantee that your posts or photos won’t be shared.
- Be aware that every time you visit a website, it’s visible to tech companies like website owners, browsers and search engines.
- Read terms and conditions and data privacy policies on websites and apps before providing any personal data or making transactions. What can the providers do with your data, and why would you agree to it? If you’re not comfortable with the information being requested, don’t provide it.
- Check geolocation settings on mobile devices, apps and cameras. If you don’t want anybody to know where you are, or where you have been, disable them
- Never stop enjoying the many excellent benefits of using the internet, but always bear in mind what digital trail you’re leaving, who may be able to access it and how they may be able to use it.
Detective Sergeant David McFarlane said: “People are quick to go online and enjoy the wonders of the internet, but are not always so quick to think about the digital footprint they leave behind.
“You, or your family or friends could become the victim of fraud or identity theft if you leave a bad digital footprint and records of your online activity could also fall into the wrong hands, including criminals involved in organised crime.
“Another factor to consider is tech companies such as browser and search engine providers can track and record what you’ve searched and viewed. This, in turn, could be shared with other parties including law enforcement agencies.
“The internet can provide excellent benefits, but it is important you take the precautionary steps to keep you and your family safe online. More than 80 per cent of known cyber attacks can be avoided by following five simple rules – we’ve called them the 5Cs – which will help you with your online safety and security. You can find our 5Cs guide on our website. ”
You can find out more how to stay safe online, and see the Constabulary’s 5Cs guide to online safety on our website: https://www.cheshire.police.uk/police-forces/cheshire-constabulary/areas/cheshire/campaigns/campaigns/2019/five-cs/
Or you can follow #Think5Cs via our social media channels.