Google yourself

You can go to and enter your name in the search bar. Or, if you have a Google account, go to Google Alerts and create and alert for your name - in the alert type in your name in quotation marks. You will receive Google alerts via email when your name appears online. This is not a show all online activity but a great start to tracking your digital footprint.


Keep your digital household clean

Set a time in your calendar every three to six months to check your privacy and permission settings on the social media sites you subscribe to and apps you have downloaded. The privacy and permission setting may have changed since the last time you checked them.

Don’t forget to log off

Don’t leave social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Instagram) or applications/games (e.g. Candy Crush) open if you are not using them. If you don’t log off you can become vulnerable to security and privacy risks. Also unsubscribe from accounts and apps that you aren’t using – think about this - a dormant Facebook account of a Calgary teen, who stopped using it because it had been previously hacked, was used to lure teens over the Internet by a criminal.

Set strong passwords

A good password can help stop someone from hacking into your social networking accounts or changing passwords on your applications. A good password is at least six characters (numbers, letters, etc.) long. You can make your password stronger by using the first letters of a phrase, instead of a word -- ICARMLP for "I can always remember my laptop password", for instance -- and changing some letters into numbers or other characters.

Turn off geo-tagging

Turn off geo-tagging on your smartphone and tablet to enhance your privacy when geo-tagging is turned on the exact latitude and longitude is included in photos or video you take and post on a social networking site or share or email. Geotagging can be found in your general or camera settings.

Be careful before you click

Never click on suspicious links, even if they look interesting. A lot of scams and malware in the social network world are spread through links and rogue applications.

Think twice before connecting or posting

It's a good rule of thumb is to only connect and share with people that you know in real life. By 'friending' people online that are strangers, you open yourself up to added privacy and security risks. Facebook estimates that 7 percent of their users’ profiles are fake, potentially created by malware writers and spammers.

Limit what you share

In order to limit the amount of potentially sensitive information about yourself — and to limit your susceptibility to theft or abuse — think twice before posting your cell phone number, date of birth, your address, where you go to school, details (including photos) from a vacation you are on, etc..

Keep an eye on your permissions settings

Every time you download a smartphone app or sign up for a social networking site, you could be allowing its developers to see your personal information which could include your address book, your Facebook or Twitter account information, your location, or even your photos.