NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – So much of your life is online now – from social media and email, to grocery shopping and banking.

All that online activity leaves you with something called a “digital footprint.”

That digital footprint paints a pretty clear picture of who you are and what you do.

When banks, marketing companies and potential employers get a hold of your footprint, it can pose risks if you don’t manage it carefully.

One risk is getting turned down for a loan. The Bureau of Economic Research found that companies can take loads of seemingly unimportant data, like the type of device you use or your email provider, and look at your patterns of behavior to predict whether you’re likely to default on a loan.

Another risk is getting a job. The Society for Human Resource Management said human resource officers routinely examine candidates’ online profiles and often find information that raises red flags for them.

Among the things they look for: Posting too much on social media during the work day, complaining about people at work and fighting with others.

What can you do to reduce your digital footprint? First, check all of your privacy settings. Go to the sites you use most frequently and make sure you have the most restrictive setting.

Second, delete or deactivate online shopping and social media accounts you no longer use. Third, use a steal or private mode when browsing online.

Finally, think before you post. If the information isn’t out there to begin with, it won’t trip you up in the future.

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