It won’t be simple to erase yourself from the internet if you’ve been utilizing the internet for a long time. Normally, when you share something online, you cede control of that data. Even though data still technically belongs to you, it is exceedingly challenging for you to control who has access to it and how it is utilized.
Your chances of having spent decades online or never having known an offline environment depend on when you were born. Whatever the case, the internet and the companies that dominate its advertising know a lot about your life. Numerous companies, including Amazon, Facebook, and Google, hold vast amounts of information on you, including your preferences, health data, and social connections. However, they are not the only ones. Massive amounts of information on you are gathered and sold by many mysterious data brokers that you’ve never heard of making it harder to erase yourself from the internet.
Although it will be extremely tough at this point, there are several actions you may do to erase yourself from the internet. It’s easier to simplify the process of deleting accounts and removing personal information into a few manageable phases and work on them gradually.
Erase Yourself From The Internet In 10+ Easy Steps
Ever have the unsettling sense that someone is watching you? I’m sorry to break the bad news, but there are countless tech firms, advertisers, snoops, and resourceful hackers out there that are trying to obtain as much of your personal information as they can. Shutting down as many intrusive GPS trackers and secret maps as you can is the first step in regaining your privacy. Do a Google search for yourself and erase yourself from the internet.
1. Google Yourself
Finding out what information is accessible to others is the easiest approach to determining which information you’ll need to erase. This is the very first step to erasing yourself from the internet. Put your name in quote marks when searching on Google to view just results that are relevant to it. All websites where your name appears should be listed. If your name is well-known, consider adding your city or line of work to the search.
2. Contact Google And Erase Yourself From The Internet
The good news is that European citizens can now ask Google to erase their personal information from search results as of 2014.
You can ask Google to remove out-of-date information from their search results regardless of where you are. The sole prerequisite is that you must have either deleted or altered the content so that it differs from Google’s version.
Visit Webmaster Tools to access the removal tool.
If you follow the instructions in this article, all mentions in search results should eventually vanish and you will successfully erase yourself from the internet unless they are archived somewhere else.
3. Delete Your Social Media As Well As Gaming Accounts
Given their growing popularity, social media and gaming sites are frequently where people look to locate you online. Although it could be difficult to recall every account you’ve had over the years, it’s a good idea to start by removing yourself from the most popular websites. This is a nice place to start erasing yourself from the internet, even if it won’t necessarily erase the “deep web” memories of you.
You may start with a handful of websites and apps that I recommend: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitch, Tik Tok, Pinterest, Foursquare, Minecraft, Steam, Soundcloud, Flickr, and last but not least Gmail account.
4. Delete Your Personal Website Or Blog
You can delete all of your content from a personal blog or website you made using a free platform like Blogger, WordPress, or Medium before closing your account. In order to end your account and remove your website, get in touch with the hosting provider if you have a premium web hosting account with them.
Your website or blog has probably already been archived by the Archive.org Wayback Machine if it was open to the public. There are no official means to get your site unachieved, although some webmasters have had success by sending takedown requests for copyright violations to [email protected], you can follow the same to erase yourself from the internet.
Be careful to remove any of your accounts with third-party plugins, advertising tools, and statistics trackers. By getting in touch with the site editor, you might be able to remove any articles you’ve contributed to online journals or content mill websites. If other blogs have reposted your work, get in touch with the blog owners and ask them to take your name and content down.
5. Delete Your Dating Profiles
Your online dating accounts may not contain your real name, but they are still associated with your email address, phone number, or other identifying details. Let’s start deleting those profiles to erase yourself from the internet. You may begin with: Tinder, OKCupid, MeetMe, and so on.
6. Erase Your Name From Data Broker Websites
You probably discovered some Google search results for your name on several people’s search websites if you are over 18 (e.g., Spokeo, InstantCheckmate, Intelius). These websites buy your private data and sell it to the general public, sometimes for a price. The good thing is that most of the time, you can easily remove yourself from these websites and erase yourself from the internet.
7. Delete Your Shopping And Payment Accounts
This is an important step to erase yourself from the internet. Users on websites like eBay and Amazon can see public versions of your profile, and search engines may make that information readily available. You should remove those accounts without a doubt, but if you want to take things a step further, you can also erase your PayPal and Venmo payment accounts.
8. Avoid Undeletable Accounts By Using Deception
Some websites just let you “deactivate” (while your information is still stored in the system) or give up your account; they don’t enable full deletion. Contact the site’s owner or engineers if you need to deactivate your account for a serious legal or safety cause; at the least, you should be able to obtain a name change to conceal your true identity. Try these steps if you can’t persuade anyone to speak up on your behalf:
Register and remove all of your personal data and successfully erase yourself from the internet. If leaving blank some fields isn’t an option, replace it with a name that is obviously a fake, such Dingus Oppenheimer IV or John Smith. Do this for each of your unverifiable accounts, and be sure to change the information on each one to prevent anyone from connecting them. Nonexistent email addresses are not an option since the website will email it to confirm if you try to enter a different address. This leads us to the following action.
Create an unidentifiable email address with a free email provider if you don’t already have one, but make sure it doesn’t contain any information that can be used to identify you. Create a new anonymous email account, confirm it, and then add it to your undeletable profile. Make sure your genuine email address is nowhere to be found in this account after it has been processed.
9. Consider Taking A Professional Help
There are businesses that specialize in data removal if you’re having issues or simply don’t understand the long process of how to erase yourself from the internet. Although these services are not free, they might be worthwhile if your removal-related needs are urgent. Inquire about a service that:
- Can unsubscribe you from the “deep web” in addition to the obvious services.
- Has an agreement in place with the suppliers of the data sources.
- Positive reviews.
10. Remove Your Email Accounts
You might wish to erase your email account once you’re done erasing your online presence (s). You might need your email address to request removal from websites, so don’t delete your account until you’re sure your online presence has been erased.
Simply make sure that your name and other personal information are not displayed anywhere in your profile if your email address cannot be linked to your name. For instance, if you utilize a free web-based email service like Outlook.com or Gmail, sign in, access the settings section, and change any occurrences of your true name with something else.
Contact the provider if you pay for your email service to learn more about your possibilities. Even online paid mail must be contactable by real persons.
Before deleting your account, make sure you are not erasing any important data that you wish to save. Put all the materials you require on a memory stick or other form of storage.
11. Opt-Out From Data Brokers
Data collection and sales are a significant industry. The US state of Vermont implemented a law in 2019 mandating all businesses purchasing and selling the personal data of third parties to register: More than 120 businesses logged their information in response. They included businesses creating tools for people searches, businesses managing location data, and businesses specializing in your health data. Your name, address, and date of birth are just a few of the details that these businesses gather, along with your social security number, your shopping preferences, and the location and length of your time in school.
Acxiom, Equifax, Experian, Oracle, and Epsilon are some of the largest data brokers. Depending on where you are in the world, certain data brokers do allow consumers to choose not to have their personal information processed, but the procedure is not simple. You’ll frequently need to email them, complete online forms, and supply further identity data to erase yourself from the internet.
If the GDPR in Europe or the Consumer Privacy Act in California applies to you, you can also send requests to have your data removed. For 10 of the largest data brokers, privacy-focused organization YourDigitalRights has designed opt-out forms to hasten the deletion of your information. It’s generally advisable to begin rejecting the bigger businesses initially.
Now you are aware that you may delete browsing history or cancel social media accounts to erase yourself from the internet, but how far can you go? We are all vulnerable in the era of the internet and it is almost impossible to clear all of your digital footprints. But, considering the steps discussed in this article will do significant work.
Q1. Is it possible to delete yourself from the internet?
The short answer is no. There are techniques to reduce your digital footprint, which would lessen the likelihood that your personal information is available online, even if you can never entirely erase yourself from the internet.
Q2. How do I delete all traces of me on the internet?
5 Steps to delete your traces from the internet:
- Don’t use social media anymore.
- Remove yourself from data collecting and people-finding websites.
- Delete your accounts for online purchasing.
- Delete previous forum discussions, postings, and replies.
- Make your email accounts inactive.
Q3. Is DeleteMe free?
An automated subscription service called DeleteMe lets you unsubscribe from data broker websites. Your personal information is posted online by data brokers, which causes your name to show up in Google search results.
Q4. Which is better OneRep or DeleteMe?
OneRep and DeleteMe are different in that OneRep remove listings from both large data brokers AND a vast number of lesser-known websites that appear out of nowhere, while DeleteMe concentrates on the most popular people-search websites, also known as major data brokers.
Q5. How long does it take for DeleteMe to work?
Approximately seven business days after signing up for DeleteMe, you’ll get your first DeleteMe Privacy Report, which will show where we found your information and what steps are being taken to have it deleted.