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How to delete yourself from the internet



If you are reading this, it is very likely that your personal information will be available to the public. And by "public" I mean everyone everywhere. To bring home this point, I'll give you the exhibition A: Facebook came under fire earlier this week when it became known that more than 50 million Facebook users were getting the data into the hands of British companies Cambridge Analytica reportedly used it to target political ads for the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

While the whole story about the situation in Cambridge is still unpacking, it [Facebook's] handed the company off its network ̵

1; the more troubling aspect of the story is that your personal information about these free services is often retrievable because you opted for all sorts of incriminating provisions at the time of initial registration for these free services, which is why some users opt for the "nuclear option" when it comes to online privacy: deleting or disabling Accounts when and where possible.

How to delete them from the Internet to prevent these companies from getting your data? Short answer: You can not, unfortunately, you can never completely remove yourself from the Internet, but there are possibilities To minimize your online footprint, which reduces the likelihood of your data getting out of it Here are some ways to do this.

However, be forewarned: Removing your information from the Internet, as I set out below, may affect your ability to communicate with potential employers.

. 1 Delete or disable your shopping, social networking and web services accounts.

Think about the social networks in which you have profiles. Do you still have public accounts on sites like Tumblr, Google+, or even MySpace, along with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram? What about your Reddit account? Which shopping sites have you registered on? Common information may include information stored on Amazon, Gap.com, Macys.com, and others.

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Using a service like DeleteMe may be less headache from the Internet.


Screenshot of Eric Franklin / CNET

To clear these accounts, go to your account settings and look for an option to disable, remove, or close your account. Depending on the account, you will find it under security or privacy or something similar.

If you have problems with a specific account, search online for "How to delete" followed by the name of the account you want to delete. You should be able to get instructions on how to delete that particular account.

If, for whatever reason, you can not delete an account, change the information in the account to something other than your actual information. Something wrong or completely random.

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. 2 Get Out of Data Collection Sites

There are companies that collect your information. They are referred to as data brokers and have names like Spokeo, Whitepages.com, PeopleFinder and many others. They collect data from everything you do online, and then sell that data to interested parties, mostly to advertise more specifically to you and sell you more material.

Now you can search for yourself on these sites and then deal with each site individually to remove your name. The problem is, the procedure for logging out of each site is different and sometimes involves sending faxes and filling in the actual physical records. Physically. Paperwork What kind of year is this again?

In any case, it's easier to use a service like DeleteMe at Abine.com. For just $ 129 per year, the service jumps through all the monotonous tires for you. It is even checked every few months to see if your name has not been added to these sites again.

Be Forewarned: If you move away from these data brokerage websites, you'll usually be removing yourself from Google's search results. Therefore, it is much harder for you to find them. DeleteMe also gives you a number of DIY guides on how to break away from every single data broker if you want to do it yourself.

View all DeleteMe plans

3. Remove your data directly from websites.

First, check with your telephone company or mobile service provider to see if you are not listed online, and have your name removed if necessary.

If you want to remove an old forum post or an old embarrassing blog that you wrote that day, you'll need to contact the webmaster of each of these sites individually. You can either search for the right person in the "About us" or "Contacts" section of the website to get in touch, or visit www.whois.com and search for the domain name you'd like to contact. There you should find information on whom you can turn to.

Unfortunately, private website operators are not required to remove your posts. When contacting these websites, be courteous and clearly indicate why the post should be removed. Hopefully they will actually go through it and remove it.

If not, then no. 4 is a less effective but still viable option.

. 4 Remove personal information from websites

If someone has posted confidential information, such as a social security number or bank account number, and the webmaster of the website where it was published does not remove it, you can send a legal request to Google

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You may need to use Google's legal powers to remove your personal information from a stubborn spot.


Screenshot of Eric Franklin / CNET

The removal process can take some time, and there is no guarantee that it will succeed, but it is also the best recourse if you are in such a vulnerable situation.

. 5 Remove obsolete search results

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The Google URL Removal Tool is handy for removing past evidence from the Internet.


Screenshot of Eric Franklin / CNET

Let's say there is a website with information about you that you want to get rid of. Like the personal side of your former employer, months after you changed jobs. You can reach them to refresh the page. You do, but if you publish your name on Google, the page will still appear in your search results – even if your name is not found when you click on the link. This means that the old version of the page is cached on Google's servers.

Here's where this tool comes in: Send the URL to Google to update the servers and clear the cached search result so that they will no longer be associated with the page. There is no guarantee that Google will remove the cached information for any reason. However, it pays to exorcise as much as possible of your presence on the Internet.

. 6 The last step you need to do is remove your e-mail accounts.

Depending on the type of email account, the steps you need to take vary.

You must log in to your account and then find the option to delete or close the account. Some accounts remain open for a certain time. If you want to reactivate it, you can do so.

An email address is required to complete the previous steps. So make sure it's your last.

One last thing …

Remember to be patient when going through this process and do not expect to complete it in one day. You may also have to accept that there are some things that you can not permanently delete from the Internet.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in December 2014. He is updated regularly.


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