How to delete yourself from the internet?
You may be asking what you can do to erase your online presence if you’ve learned how your personal information is gathered and shared.
Since the first time you logged in, a massive quantity of information about you has been floating around the internet. Companies like Google reportedly have what amounts to 1.5 million word documents on each individual. If stacked like a skyscraper, that would be the equivalent of a mountain of paper measuring about 150 metres in height. By being less open with personally identifiable information, by providing fake information where possible, and by refraining from supplying unneeded data, you can prevent data about yourself from being collected online, which is good for your future.
But what about the information that has already been published online?
Protect your identity, online history, and other metadata from prying eyes by using privacy tools like a virtual private network (VPN) or a plugin that blocks trackers. Later, we’ll provide more guidance like this. But first, we’ll tell you about services that will truly assist you in disappearing from the web.
How To Avoid Being Found in Google Searches
If you wish to lessen your digital footprint, a smart place to start is with Google, as it is the most used search engine. The ‘Results about you’ feature, released in 2022, makes it simple to ask that your name, phone number, and address be removed from public records. At present, the resource doesn’t appear to be widely accessible. The UK is now left out, but Google promises a global rollout very shortly.
Here are the instructions for putting the tool to use:
- Get Google up and running. Simply type your name into the search bar at www.google.com. If your name isn’t very unique, you can improve search results by including your hometown or employer.
- Simply type your name into the search bar at www.google.com. If your name isn’t very unique, you can improve search results by including your hometown or employer.
- The choice to “Remove result” will appear at the bottom of the following screen. To submit your request to Google, tap this and then follow the on-screen prompts.
- By accessing the ‘Remove your personal information from Google‘ page, you can also request the removal of stuff like revenge porn, deepfake content, and other potentially malicious or damaging listings.
- It’s important to keep in mind that even if a search result is removed from Google, the information itself will still remain online. If you want something removed from a website, you need to get in touch with the site’s owner and ask them to take it down.
How do I delete something that could be illegal?
If the site owner is reluctant after repeated requests to delete criminally-related content (such as revenge porn, doxing information, or deep-fake sexual photos), you should report the matter to the authorities. However, just because it’s hard to get rid of this stuff completely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Those affected by this disturbing type of cyberbullying can get support through the Revenge Porn Helpline.
How to remove your information?
With the right information, it’s surprisingly simple to form a complete portrait of a person. Data brokers compile PII (personally identifiable information) from many sources, including social media quizzes, online accounts, competitions you’ve attended, and other seemingly innocuous hobbies, and can produce a disturbingly accurate summary. These can be bundled and sold to advertisers or other businesses with a specific audience in mind.
Acxiom, PeopleFinder, Radaris, Equifax, and Experian are just some of the largest data brokers, among many others. You can try to remove your information from each site independently, but this can take a lot of time and effort, and it’s not certain to be successful. DataBrokersWatch is one such resource, as it monitors and maps the data broker ecosystem to help you determine who might be in possession of your data. For the most common offenders, it also includes convenient opt-out options.
What can you do to protect your personal information on social media?
You can make your Facebook more private by, among other things, restricting who can view your posts, hiding your birthday and other personal information, limiting the number of friends you have, and deleting old posts that you don’t want to remain public. You may make most of these changes by going to Facebook, clicking on the profile symbol, and selecting the Settings and Privacy option. Facebook’s ‘Privacy Checkup’ tool walks you through the various settings and gives you control over how much of your personal information is shared with the public.
In what ways may you conceal your identity when surfing the web?
It’s difficult to function in 21st-century society without some exposure to the internet. So, how can you ensure that this never happens again in your digital life? You may now sign up for services online without giving out your real email address, thanks to tools like Apple’s Hide My Email service.
Firefox Relay is an alternative alias service for Android devices. Another option is to create a free email address from any provider and use it exclusively for online signups, using a name that has nothing to do with you.
One mistake you shouldn’t make is thinking you can hide your online footprint by using the private (incognito) mode of your browser. Not at all. It merely prevents the device from keeping track of your online activity. If you’re willing to make a change, Brave is a privacy-focused browser worth checking out. You can’t really vanish from the Internet. If you follow the advice above, however, the quantity of information that may be found about you should be cut in half.