Why You Should Care About Your Digital Footprint

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*Sponsored Post This post was written as part of the Allstate Digital Safety Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine.

As a journalist and tech expert, I am known for my travels “Around the World in Katie Days.”  On the road, living this fast paced, adventurous life I must stay smart, safe and use common sense.  While traveling I am aware of the importance of protecting myself and my gear with practical things like wearing a seatbelt and keeping my most valuable gear with me as a carry on. While these concrete things seem so obvious, over time I have also learned that protecting my personal data left behind from online activities, or digital footprint, is just as important. That’s why I’m excited to partner with Allstate. With digital safety and privacy conversations at the forefront,  Allstate is helping consumers decide for themselves how they want their data shared and used to help manage their digital footprint through educational tips at HiddenWorldofData.com The online hub is a one-stop-shop to help you understand how to manage your digital footprint safely in today’s online world.

 

To provide the best information for you, Allstate researched what real-life Americans understand about their own personal data and the results were extremely comprehensive.  In 2018 Allstate surveyed 1000 adults on their basic understanding and experience with personal data security and privacy. The Allstate Digital Safety Survey found 95% of Americans felt that protecting their personal information online was just as important as protecting other important assets like their home or car.  One-third of respondents had never heard the term, “digital footprint” or were familiar with it in name only and less than 10% reported knowing a lot about their digital footprint.  This data uncovered a significant knowledge deficit around personal data security and privacy -- making it difficult for consumers to take practical steps to manage and protect it.

 

I talk to a lot of people about our digital world and it’s surprising how many don’t know how to protect their online identity. Unfortunately, when living within this high-tech world data breaches can occur. Of those surveyed, nearly half reported their personal information had been compromised online and of those, 37% had unauthorized charges on their bank statement and over 20% reported that these breaches were so significant that they had to delete their account. Respondents reported that these incidents made them feel angry and vulnerable, most likely because they did not fully understand how this could happen.

 

I’m looking forward to this partnership with Allstate – it’s so important to me to help people better understand their digital footprint and how to manage their online world more responsibly. I think that one of the most important take-aways is understanding that digital security and privacy is not just about the large purchases or transactions that we make online, like banking or bill paying.  Rather, seemingly more low-key activities, like downloading an app, uploading photos to social media, entering a contest online or even connecting to a free Wi-Fi hotspot can impact our digital footprint.  Also, understanding that there are simple, practical things that we can do to protect our data privacy, like never automatically saving credit card information on a site or not allowing websites or apps to follow our personal location.

 

For many people grappling with the concept of a digital footprint is a new frontier, but I think that rather than feeling anxious or apprehensive, we can approach it practically. Just like traveling, there are many simple things that we can do to stay informed and safe. For me, whether I am in Alaska or Bermuda, staying smart means being conscientious of my physical steps, as well as my digital steps.

 

There’s so much interesting data around this and I encourage you to learn more on your digital footprint as well as obtain key tips on how to manage protect it. Head on over to HiddenWorldofData.com

 

You can also find more on Allstate’s social handles:

https://www.facebook.com/Allstate

https://www.instagram.com/allstate

https://twitter.com/allstate

This post was written as part of the Allstate Digital Safety Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day