I don’t often give a lot of thought about how much information about myself I am putting out into the abyss of the internet, however I can see the results of it on a regular basis. I’ll occasionally Google myself to ensure that nothing unsavoury would come up if an employer or teacher were to search for me, and I’m amazed at how many search pages I actually fill up. It has increased so much over the past few years, I can hardly believe my name could be attached to so many things. Even weirder is the Images results, photos come up of friends of mine, under my search results. Often people that I haven’t seen in years! It’s bizarre and a little bit frightening, knowing that I have indeed dropped that many “breadcrumbs” during my nearly two decades online.
As for trying to minimize my data trail… I feel as thought that is a losing battle these days. I also don’t necessarily see the point in trying to do so. The information I put online is used for targeted ads, and probably for more than I am aware of, but how malicious can it be unless it is something like a credit card number, which I am careful about using only with reputable corporations online. Everyone has a serious data trail these days, and working to keep that from happening is not an easy job and not one I intend to pursue.