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Having a digital footprint is a normal part of day-to-day life, and it's becoming impossible not to have some form of digital footprint.

Current privacy and data protection legislations are still new, and many digital footprints are publicly available, looking back many years.

You may have seen previous news headlines where the digital footprint of someone's historical tweets had made headlines, such as a historical racist tweet that resurfaced after many years.

So, what is the Digital Footprint of your business? What could it reveal about your business and why is this important?

Investigating digital footprints is a delicate task and requires trained investigators. Trained digital footprint investigators use various tools and techniques to discover an individual's/corporate’s digital footprint. This can require searching the dark web for any leaked or unwanted sensitive data exposure.

One simple task that any individual or business can do is a google search for their name or their business name. You should review any historical data or images you no longer wish to be visible. The Google advanced search is a simple interface to carry out this task.

A simple google search will show your business's general online presence — including reviews, location and contact details. From here, you can see how your company ranks on Google or what others will see when looking for your business (often used for competitor research).

So why is your Digital Footprint important?

You need to be aware of its online presence. For example, a high-profile director or executive with a sensitive job title should make an extra effort to reduce their footprint and online presence as much as possible. In addition, a business's competitors may use fake review accounts to bring down their competitor's web traffic or damage their reputation.

When planning a cyber-attack, cybercriminals perform digital investigations into a company and use their findings to their advantage. They will work to explore your business' online data, all in search of any vulnerabilities.

For a spear-phishing attack, for example, a company’s public data would be used by cybercriminals to craft their way into a company. Using any staff names, email addresses or job titles they find online will play a vital role in a spear-phishing attack. In addition to this, if there are any confidential documents (such as company memos) that are accidentally public, an Attacker could steal signatures and use them to make their Spear Phishing emails look more legitimate.

Want to look after your digital footprint? We recommend undertaking a Digital Footprint Investigation; this investigation can help manage potential business threats. Contact the Cyber Resilience Centre today to discuss and learn more about how an Internet Investigation can help protect your business and digital footprint.

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