Remember the time when people could share only specific information on the internet. When we talk, you know that a lot of your information is out there on the internet. It knows our address, email id, date of birth, name of parents, friends, etc. Everyone knows everything about anyone in the world without even conscious sharing.
Do you ever read the privacy policies of social media sites before accepting them?
No? Well, no one does. The companies make obscure terms and conditions. No one reads before accepting them. In this way, companies have the right to collect our information. Companies like Facebook, Twitter collect data through our devices, search input, and things we like and post on these sites.
This article tells you everything you need to know about removing your information from the internet.
Why Would You Want to Delete Yourself from the Internet?
Your information available on the internet is not consciously put there by you. There might be several reasons to delete yourself from the internet. Some of the reasons include:
- To save yourself from identity theft
- To save yourself from bullies and stalkers
- To increase general privacy
- To allow the information you share to be available on the internet
- Avoid seeing annoying targeted advertisements.
When we addressed the reasons for removing information from the Internet then, how to get your information off the internet?
8 Ways to Delete Yourself from the Internet Space
1. Check Yourself on Google
When you decide to remove information from the internet, you should first check yourself on Google. By doing this, you can get to know the information about you on the internet. Google search yourself incognito mode to see what a stranger would find about you on the internet. The information available on Google can take you to its source. This will allow you to delete the information from the source itself. Also, Google shared information or guidelines, from where you can delete your or your kid’s personal info internet.
2. Review Your Social Accounts
We tend to share a lot of information through our social media accounts. We post pictures, videos, personal information, and travel check-in, etc. A lot of information is also shared through the post we like or the types of accounts we engage with. This allows the sites to collect data about us. When you decide to delete yourself from the internet, the next step is to review your social accounts and check the vulnerabilities of all social media apps. You can delete the posts you don’t wish anyone to see further. You can also consider making your social media accounts private. It will prevent your data from reaching the masses, and the data will get restricted to your friends and followers.
3. Approach To Data Brokers Sites
Data broker sites are companies that take your data from the public domain and compile it into the database. The information is sold to the buyers who may use the data to create targeted ads or for other purposes. They collect information like date of birth, addresses, family members, pets, neighbors, etc. This information is used for malicious purposes like hacking into your online accounts by getting hints for answering security questions. You can approach these companies and opt-out of their data mining services.
4. Contact Webmasters To Take Your Content Down
Most of our information which is available online is shared by us. Our content on different websites might be shared by us voluntarily. Many of these websites have strict terms and conditions that after posting the sole ownership of the content you posted goes to the webmaster. When you decide to delete yourself from the internet, you can contact these webmasters and request them to remove your content from the platform. You should have strong reasons to make them agree to remove your information from the websites.
5. Remove All Unused Apps
When we download applications on our devices, we grant permission to them to access our data. Not all of these applications are regularly used but are collecting our data constantly from our devices. The applications have access to our mic and camera and can easily record the information. To remove the information from the internet, you should also remove all the unused apps from your devices. The apps that have access to your camera, mic, location, etc., should also be restricted.
6. Clean Up Your Browser History
Your browser history has a lot of your personal information. While shopping, you leave your financial information and mailing address. These sites can breach to reveal a lot of your confidential information. History-sniffers get a lot of information from your browser history. These history-sniffers are not only data broker companies but also cybercriminals who customize their attacks to attract you easily. Hence, when you want to remove the information from the internet, also clear your browsing history.
7. Delete Old Email Accounts
Your email account is the primary link to everything you do on the Internet. These include everything from surfing, playing, shopping, social media activity to your finances. There might be email accounts that are not in use at present. But, the data related to things you do on the internet is still linked with them. Email accounts, especially the ones not in use, are very easy to get hacked. This can reveal a lot of information about you on the internet. The best way to proceed here is to delete your old email accounts to erase your data from the internet.
8. Clean Up Your File Sharing Sites
File sharing sites are mostly cloud-based. Hence, the shared information will be stored in the cloud. It can be retrieved at any time from anywhere. The cloud can be hacked or accessed by anyone. To delete yourself from the internet, you should also clean up your file sharing sites and remove the information you exchanged.
Technology has changed and affected our lifestyles a lot. It has made communication easier and has influenced the working of different industries. We all see advertisements related to our interests everywhere on the internet. These advertisements reach us through our data available on the internet. Hence, a large amount of our information is available on the internet which is even unknown to us. There are several ways to delete yourself from the internet. Hence, remove the information you are unwilling to put up on the internet and take control of your data today.
Smart measures to ensure safe device usage by your children.