Friday, April 16, 2021

The Internet Never Forgets

being aware of online footprints

The internet is an incredible way to connect with other people. And it can be a great environment if you’re able to curate it properly. The issue, of course, comes when you don’t use it safely. Safe internet use is a necessity nowadays, but some people don’t take it as seriously as they should.

Perhaps they think that they’re safe from common internet dangers. After all, most people don’t run into problems online, right? But if you don’t watch what you make available online, the consequences could be quite negative…and long-lasting. Think about these facts when you use the internet, so you can remember to take cybersecurity seriously.

Your IP Address Is Visible to the Websites You Visit

An IP address is essentially a unique marker that lets websites know what computer you’re visiting from. IP addresses can change. You’ll get a different IP address when you use a different wi-fi network, and you can even ask your service provider to change your IP address. However, while you’re visiting using a specific IP address, websites track the content you check out. Even if you don’t accept browser cookies, or you’re sure to clear them frequently, your IP address will give you away every time.

One of the most common workarounds to this is using a VPN (virtual private network). With a VPN, your internet connection is transmitted to the VPN provider, and from there to the website you visit. Your IP address, therefore, appears as if it’s coming from a different location than it actually is. It’s a simple workaround, but an effective one. It’s also very important to use, because when websites track your IP address, they may be able to glean sensitive information based on your browsing habits.

You’ve Likely Forgotten About Unused Accounts

It’s extremely likely that you’ve signed up for a social media account at one point and then proceeded to forget about that account and never log in again. Well, social media is public, and that means if you used your old account for any period, that content is still publicly accessible. If the social media network allowed you to make your profile private, and you decided to take that option, it’ll be much less likely that you’ll leak any embarrassing or personally identifying information. However, some social media sites don’t have that option, and you may have unintentionally exposed yourself with those old accounts.

You can easily delete old accounts. Most accounts can be found with a few internet searches, and it only takes a few clicks to disable them. It’s always a good idea to stay on top of old accounts. If you didn’t know as much about cybersecurity then as you do now, then you may have made some extremely damaging missteps, and you don’t want those following you forever. It’s also just generally a good idea to clean up old profiles, because you’ve almost certainly grown and changed since then.

What Can I Do to Lessen the Impact of My Internet History?

The best way to make sure your internet history doesn’t permanently impact your life now is to constantly clean up after your old self. Of course, to do so, you need to know what information you already have out there. Then, you can find it and make the internet forget as much as possible (or at least remember you the right way). The easiest way to do that is to use a search engine like PeopleFinders.

PeopleFinders makes it simple to see what type of information you’ve given out about yourself online. Use your first name, last name, city and state to run a people search, and then see the information listed about you. Once you have that information, you can scour the internet for places that you may have unintentionally left it out in the open for anyone to see. The incredible benefits of PeopleFinders don’t stop there; the PeopleFinders blog can give you plenty of ideas for how to use this powerful tool in your day-to-day life.


It can be scary to realize that you may have left personal information scattered around the internet, or that incorrect information will be out there forever if you don’t go back and redact it. The good news is that going back is possible. People often say that the internet never forgets, but with PeopleFinders, you can muddle the internet’s memory just a bit.

Image attribution: enzozo –

PeopleFinders was launched in 1999 to give people easy access to public records data. The PeopleFinders mission is to find, organize and make information accessible - empowering people with meaningful answers.

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