In the modern day world where technology has proliferated every corner of the earth, it is almost impossible to keep off the internet. About half the world's population own a smartphone. More than half of the world's population have in one way or the other, interacted with technology forms whether gadgets, software, or basic internet-driven processes. For these reasons, we have all established what is known as a digital footprint, i.e., the trail of data and information existing over the internet as a result of continued interaction with technology. While this digital footprint is in itself inevitable, we must beware of the information we are willing to relieve to the public domain least it affects our lives even in the most subtle of ways. 

For every application installed on our phones or a visited website, we have probably provided an email address, phone number, full names, and other forms of information directly tied to us. These kinds of information, also known as personal identifiable information (PII), continue to accumulate over the internet such that any Dick, Tom and Harry with the technical know-how could build our personal profile to discern who we are, where we are from, what we do, who our family are, and many other areas of life best kept secret. Thinking about this for a minute, we do realize that we are all too willing to give up so much of personal information in exchange of services that we arguably do not need. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where the problem is. The inability to discern the right boundary for our own information implies the inability to protect ourselves from unknown enemies such as stalkers, predators, peddlers, and other malicious people within a button's click away. 

A basic google search on a name can, for example, yield a lot of information that could be used to build a profile and classify or determine the background of an individual. Just to give a simple homework, do a simple google search on your full names. You will probably get at least three results that are either accurate or a close match of your information. Most of these results will map back to your social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and even LinkedIn. Such information can initiate ideas to dig for even more information about oneself to cause direct or indirect harm. 

What to do

Resulting from the fact that sharing too much information can be dangerous, here are seven quick suggestions you could implement to limit the amount of information out in the internet and  protect yourself from devil incarnates. 
  1. Avoid signing up to any and every existent application, site, or social media platform under the sun. Just because TikTok exists does not mean  you have to sign up. If you won't use it on a regular basis, you probably do not need it. For every sign up, a new avenue to your personal life is created. 
  2. Deactivate or close any inactive accounts to avoid listing on search engines. Also specify the amount of time it would take to de-active your account if you were to proceed to heaven or further off to the mighty furnace.  
  3. Minimize the amount of information you give out on the internet. If whatever you are giving out will be of harm if malicious people were to gain knowledge, avoid disclosure. Giving out everything about you is like taking to the streets to narrate every possible story of your life even to uninterested audiences.  
  4. Avoid giving real personal identifiable information such as full names, birth, location, work, and family information unless it is completely necessary. While sites such as LinkedIn will require correct information, minimize exposure of such information on other social media sites.
  5. Where possible, use pseudonyms in place of real names. This is ideal for forums, chat rooms, and other for-fun social media sites that do not mandate disclosure of personal details.
  6. Keep your social media platforms private or restrict your followers to family and close friends. This limits the number of people with access to your information. 
  7. Turn off the location feature and hide online status on sites and applications to avoid real time tracking. 
While the majority of the population mean no harm while using technology, there will always be a population segment out there to swindle the masses, defame, or even impersonate others. These are vices that we do not want to prevail in the society because they would set a negative cyber environment where there is disregard for people, processes, and technologies that contribute to our livelihoods. 


  1. Always use pseudonyms...this one stood out for me. A very insightful article Basil! Creating a good cyber culture &hygiene is ideal for our Kenyan cyberspace.


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