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Deleting or removing all your personal information from the web isn’t easy, but it’s possible to delete most of your personal information footprint from the internet. It might not even be advisable
1. Remove yourself from social media
Your social media presence has the biggest impact on your online footprint, so you should start here. It’s important to delete your accounts, not just log out or stop using them. Virtually all social media platforms have a formal process for closing your account. Visit every social networking site you’ve used – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, etc. and repeat the removal process. Most will completely remove your content in a short period of time, like 30 days.
2. Remove yourself from data collection sites
There are companies that collect your information. They are called data brokers and go by names like Spokeo, Whitepages.com, and PeopleFinder, along with many more. They collect data about everything you do online and then sell that data to interested parties, mostly to advertise you more specifically and sell things.
Anyway, an easier way to do it is to use a service like DeleteMe.
For just $129 per year, the service will jump through all those monotonous hoops for you. It will also check every few months to make sure your name has not been read on these sites.
Be careful – if you opt-out of these data brokerage sites, you will also be mainly removing yourself from Google search results, which will make it much harder for people to find you. DeleteMe also offers you a number of DIY guides on how to opt out of each individual data broker if you want to go through the process yourself.
3. Remove old forum posts, comments, and discussions
your online presence is probably pretty low now. But don’t forget any website presence you have left in the form of comments, discussions, and forum posts. These will be the most difficult to remove, however, there is no standard way to remove comments from a forum or at the bottom of a post, so the only viable option is to contact the site owner or the site manager and request the “removal of the content.
4. Remove personal info from websites
you can send a legal removal request to Google to have it removed.
5. Remove outdated search results
Submit the URL to Google in the hopes that it will update its servers, removing the cached search result so that it is no longer associated with the page. There is no guarantee that Google will remove cached information for any reason, but it is worth trying to exorcise your online presence from the internet as much as possible.
6. Deactivate your email accounts
You will need to log into your account and find the option to delete or close the account. Some accounts will stay open for a while if you want to reactivate them.
One last thing
Remember to be patient during this process and don’t expect to finish it overnight. You may also need to accept that there are some things that you cannot permanently delete from the Internet.