If you have an internet profile or a social media page, there is a huge chance that your personal information is available to the public. It is almost impossible to go incognito online. The internet keeps long-lasting records. It’s a case of once been and always been. It is almost impossible to completely wipe yourself off the face of the internet. What you could do though is minimise your online presence.
These tips will help in reducing how much of your records are accessible online. Keep in mind that there are cons to going on the internet. It would mean letting go of your internet privileges like the ability to make new online friends, network and communicate with potential employers.
1. Direct info removal from websites
This will mean retracing your steps and removing all the old posts from all social media sites and leaving them altogether. If you have ever contributed or left a comment on a website, you will need to contact the webmaster for each site individually to ask to be taken off or just go and delete your comments. You can also go to the contacts section of the website to know who exactly you would need to contact.
If it’s a private website, you will need to send an email to politely ask to be taken off. They are, however, not obligated to.
2. Delete all social media network accounts
Apart from the popular social network sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, you will need to think of other ones you might have subscribed to. This includes Tumblr, MySpace, Yahoo and Reddit. Also, consider shopping sites like Jumia and Konga that might have your personal information like address and phone numbers.
You can always go on the account settings to delete yourself. You can also get a paid service like DeleteMe to remove all traces of yourself from social networking sites if you mean business. You can also search the net for “How to delete” a particular social media account. Then follow the instructions.
For an account that you are finding hard to delete, change your information on the site to a piece of fake fabricated information. Make sure that is in no way linked to your original info.
3. Delete outdated search results
The URL removal tool on Google lets you erase evidence of past mistakes online. This helps if there is a page with malicious information of you online or info you don’t want to be associated with anymore. It could be an online archive from a former job or school. If it still shows up after you have asked for it to be taken down, you can submit the URL to Google to delete the cached search result.
Google will, however, oblige at its discretion and it’s not a given that they will. If they decided to, it may take some time for them to finally do it.
4. Remove all your email accounts
If there is anything you should know by now, it is that going off the internet is harder than going on. Deleting your emails will take some time too. The steps vary for different emails too. First, you will need to sign into the account and then find the option to delete or close the account.
Some email accounts will give it some time before it finally deletes it just in case you decide to reactive it.
It is important to note that this should be the last step. You must make sure that you have done everything else. This is because most other steps will require your email to carry out the task of taking you off.