Easy methods to delete your self from the web

How to delete yourself from the internet

In case you’re studying this, it is extremely possible your private info is out there to the general public. And by “public” I imply everybody in every single place. So, how can deleting your self from the web cease firms from getting ahold of your information? Quick reply: it could actually’t. Sadly, you possibly can by no means fully take away your self from the web, however there are methods to reduce your digital footprint, which might decrease the possibilities of your private information getting on the market. Listed below are some methods to just do that. We’ll replace the following tips periodically.

Be forewarned, nonetheless: eradicating your info from the web, as I’ve outlined beneath, may adversely have an effect on your potential to speak with potential employers. 

Learn extra: Greatest VPN service of 2021

1. Delete or deactivate your buying, social media and internet service accounts

Take into consideration which networks you will have social media profiles on. Other than the large ones, comparable to Fb, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, do you continue to have outdated accounts on websites like Tumblr and even MySpace? What about your Reddit account? Which buying websites have you ever registered on? Widespread ones may embrace info saved on Amazon, Hole.com, Macys.com and others.

Utilizing a service like DeleteMe could make eradicating your self from the web much less of a headache.


Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET

To do away with these accounts, go to your account settings and search for an choice to both deactivate, take away or shut your account. Relying on the account, you might discover it beneath Privateness or Safety, or one thing comparable.

In case you’re having bother with a specific on-line account, strive looking on-line for “Easy methods to delete,” adopted by the title of the account you want to delete. You must be capable to discover some instruction on the way to delete that individual account.

If for some cause there are any undeletable accounts, change the information within the account to one thing aside from your precise information. One thing faux or fully random.


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2. Remove yourself from data collection sites

There are companies out there that collect your information. They’re called data brokers, and they have names like Spokeo, Whitepages.com, PeopleFinder, as well as plenty of others. They collect data from everything you do online and then sell that data to interested parties, mostly in order to more specifically advertise to you and sell you more stuff.

Now you could search for yourself on these sites and then deal with each site individually to get your name removed. Problem is, the procedure for opting out from each site is different and sometimes involves sending faxes and filling out actual physical paperwork. Physical. Paperwork. What year is this, again?

Anyway, an easier way to do it is to use a service like DeleteMe at joindeletme.com.  For just $129/year, the service will jump through all those monotonous hoops for you. It’ll even check back every few months to make sure your name hasn’t been re-added to these sites. 

Be warned:  If you remove yourself from these data broker sites, you’ll also mostly remove yourself from Google search results, therefore making it much harder for people to find you. DeleteMe also gives you a set of DIY guides on how to remove yourself from each individual data broker if you’d like to do the process yourself.

3. Remove your info directly from websites

First, check with your phone company or cell provider to make sure you aren’t listed online and have them remove your name if you are.

If you want to remove an old forum post or an old embarrassing blog you wrote back in the day, you’ll have to contact the webmaster of those sites individually. You can either look at the About us or Contacts section of the site to find the right person to contact or go to www.whois.com and search for the domain name you wish to contact. There you should find information on who exactly to contact.

Unfortunately, private website operators are under no obligation to remove your posts. So, when contacting these sites be polite and clearly state why you want the post removed. Hopefully they’ll actually follow through and remove it.

If they don’t, tip no. 4 is a less effective, but still viable option.

4. Remove personal info from websites

If someone’s posted sensitive information of yours such as a Social Security number or a bank account number and the webmaster of the site where it was posted won’t remove it, you can send a legal removal request to Google to have it removed.

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You may have to exercise Google’s legal powers to get your personal information removed from a stubborn site.


Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET

The removal process could take some time, and there’s no guarantee it’ll be successful, but it’s also your best recourse if you find yourself in such a vulnerable situation.

5. Remove outdated search results

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Google’s URL removal tool is handy for erasing evidence of past mistakes from the internet.


Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET

Let’s say there’s a webpage with information about you on it you’d like to get rid of — like your former employer’s staff page, months after you’ve changed jobs. You reach out to get them to update the page. They do, but when you Google your name, the page still shows up in your search results — even though your name isn’t anywhere to be found when you click the link. This means the old version of the page is cached on Google’s servers.

Here’s where this tool comes in. Submit the URL to Google in hopes it’ll update its servers, deleting the cached search result so you’re no longer associated with the page. There’s no guarantee Google will remove the cached info for reasons, but it’s worth a try to exorcise as much of your online presence as possible from the internet.

6. And finally, the last step you’ll want to take is to remove your email accounts

Depending on the type of email account you have, the amount of steps this will take will vary.

You’ll have to sign into your account and then find the option to delete or close the account. Some accounts will stay open for a certain amount of time, so if you want to reactivate them you can.

An email address is necessary to complete the previous steps, so make sure this one is your last.

One last thing…

Remember to be patient when going through this process, and don’t expect to complete it in one day. You may also have to accept that there are some things you won’t be able to permanently delete from the internet.

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