Is googling yourself online shameful? "When the number of cybercrimes is constantly growing - certainly not, and if you hold a managerial position, it is even mandatory," says Viktoras Kamarevcevas, Chairman of "Infobalt" eIDAS Group and Business Manager of “SK ID Solutions” in Lithuania.
According to V. Kamarevcevas, spear-phishing attacks have recently become more popular, using not only stolen but also publicly available information.
“Attack scenarios can vary. They are considered “traditional” when a manager receives an e-mail from a “business partner” or from his “sports club”. Or when a manager publicly announces that he is on vacation and the office administrator receives a call from an “IT engineer”, that before leaving for vacation the manager (mentioning a specific name) has asked for something to be fixed and therefore the “IT engineer” needs remote access to her computer. Attacks can also require more of scammers’ effort. For example, one day you may receive an e-mail with an attached file from your son’s “school” or from your own “son” with the caption “Print, Dad (Mom).” There are also more sophisticated attacks – even the most vigilant can fall into the traps,” says the security specialist.
In addition, V. Kamarevcevas adds that recent attacks have become not only personalized but also automated, so in today’s reality, it is undoubtedly essential to understand what information can be used against ourselves.
One way to prevent this is to actively request that publicly available information about you would be deleted from the website and/or search engines. You can google yourself to know what information about you is publicly available. Then, implement the main actions for deleting the data.
According to the interviewee, it is essential to know that you will not be able to altogether remove your data from the Internet. However, there are ways to reduce your online footprints, which would also reduce the likelihood that your data will be used for malicious purposes.
First of all, delete or disable your unused shopping, social networking, and other online accounts. Think about what social networks you have profiles on but don’t use. In addition to the big ones like “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “LinkedIn” and “Instagram”, maybe you still have accounts on sites like “Google+”, “SoundCloud”, or Lithuanian social media “Klase.lt”, “Draugas.lt”, “One.lt”, on the dating portals “DarniPora.lt”, “Tinder”, etc. If your attempts to shop at “Amazon”, “eBay”, “AliExpress”, and other online stores were one-time, delete these accounts as well. Tip for those planning to get a new job – it is not worth deleting your “LinkedIn” account during the job search period.
To delete your information from the service portals, go to your account settings and look for the option to disable, remove, or close your account. Depending on your account, you can find it in the “Security” or “Privacy” section.
If you cannot find how to delete your account, try searching for “How to delete < a specific > account” in the online search box – you should find instructions on how to do so.
Secondly, let’s not forget about the old e-mails. Depending on your e-mail provider, you will need to log in to your account and find the option to delete or close the account. Some accounts will remain open for a while, so you can activate them if you change your mind.