SOUTHFIELD (FOX 2) - Face it. As soon as you log onto the internet, you're name is cemented into digital history.
And with the permanence comes those that will try to steal your identity, your private information and anything else that might be of some value.
So how can you combat being so vulnerable? By confusing the culprits says David Derigiotis, a cyber risk expert with Burns and Wilcox.
Sign up for newsletters using a fake name. Freeze your scores on credit rating sites. Request your information on websites being private. Use several emails.
"One thing could be signing up for some type of newsletter or a magazine. Let’s say you want to sign up for Forbes, or any other publication. Provide a fake name but give your real address so that when the shipment comes, it’s still coming to you," he said. "But when they share that information, when they sell it, it's going to cloud the waters with all the other hacker information that’s out there."
It confuses the bad guys, often making you a target not worth striking. So more people, Derigiotis says, are starting to wipe clean their digital footprint.
There are people finding sites out there that track your address, voting records and phone numbers. You need to go online and ask them to set your record on private.
"There are a number of sites you can go to: That’s Them, PeopleFinders, Spokeo. I think a lot of people would be surprised at how much information is available on them at these sites. So what you can do is go into the privacy section and opt outs of the data is not shared," Derigiotis said. You can see a website list below to get you started.
Derigiotis also insists that you must freeze your credit with all three reporting agencies. It’s free to do and doesn’t hurt your credit either.
Then there’s this website for you online shopaholics: check out Privacy.com.
"If you’re going to use your debit card to shop online, there are services that are out there that will mask your name and create essentially burner numbers so it anonymizes your actual card and your name so if a data breach occurs it will just be wiped clean and you don’t have to worry about your real card," he said.
And finally, did you know when you shop at stores many of them have monitoring systems that pin your phone and track your location in the store.
Spend a lot of time in front of one product and the beacons, as they’re called, track you making you a prime target for advertisements. It’s happening right now. Don’t like it? Then turn your phone on airplane mode when you’re shopping.
Here's a list of websites you can check out to get you started: