How to Easily Remove Personal Information from the Internet
If you are ready to get off the grid, it may not be as simple as you think. When you want to remove personal information from the internet, you have to remember that countless places have your information stored online. If you follow the easy steps outlined below, you will be able to get started toward your off the grid life.
Anyone that has ever entered their information online most likely has their personal information available to the public at large. We aren’t saying that government agencies have access to your personal information, we are saying that everyone at any location in the world is likely able to access your personal information and it doesn’t take much work on their part either.
Popular websites like Google and Facebook have been facing the government to defend themselves and show how they plan on keeping consumer information safe as well as keep from allowing manipulation to take place through their websites. There is still much to be sifted through in these situations, but it is obvious that our information is not safe online.
How FREE is “free?”
Many of the “free” services that we use on a day to day basis keep our information in databases where they then sell it to the highest bidder. While some people believe it is only sold to marketers to better target ads, what if there are other uses for the information? Since we opted into the services and agreed to their terms of service and policies, we have signed away in-depth information about ourselves including many details that are used to verify accounts and other things that should be kept private for our safety.
Since there are so many people vying for our private information online, many people are opting to get rid of their accounts and remove personal information from the internet. Not having Facebook and Twitter? Who could ever imagine this? More people than you would think considering that there are 7 billion people in the world and only around 2 billion people that are on social media sites like Facebook.
What Happens When You Remove Personal Information?
When you decide that you want to remove personal information from the internet, what does it do to benefit you? How does it keep these companies from getting your information? The sad truth is that you are not able to totally delete yourself from the internet and there is no way to take back what you’ve already shared.
While it is true that you won’t be able to remove yourself entirely from the internet, there are some things you can do to keep yourself from being prominent on the internet to reduce these companies chances of getting your information. Let’s get into some specific ways that you can reduce your opportunity of having your information harvested and sold online.
1.) Delete All Accounts – When it comes to deleting accounts, you need to delete not only social media accounts but email accounts, shopping accounts and any other web services that you have previously signed up for. You may not remember the smaller sites that you signed up for, but you need to go back through and find any welcome emails that you still have for sites like MySpace or specific department stores like Walmart or Sears.
Once you find an account, you can go into the settings and find options that say something online the lines of “remove” “delete” or “deactivate.” Most of the time these options are under the Privacy Settings or Security section of the site in question. If you aren’t able to find how to delete yourself from a specific website, you can go to their help section and search for “Cancel account.” If you aren’t able to cancel an account for whatever reason, you can put fake information in the account and save it.
2.) Clear Your Information from Data Collection Websites – Your information is most likely on data broker websites like WhitePages or PeopleFinder. These websites whole business plan is to collect information and sell it to the highest bidder. The problem with many of these sites is that they make it very difficult to opt out. Some of the sites even require that you send physical paperwork to opt out of their data collection sites.
3.) Delete Your Information from Online Billing – You are likely to have an online billing account through your cell phone, car payment, car insurance, cable company, and any other active accounts. If you do find that you have an account, go online and delete your information from these accounts. You may have to specifically call these companies and let them know that you do not want to have an account with your information listed online.
4.) Remove Yourself from Forums – If you’ve been a part of a forum in the past, you can often go onto the forum and delete your information. Forums that are privately operated and not required to delete any information or posts, but if you ask nicely, they might be interested in helping you out.
5.) Remove Personal Information from Websites – If your personal information has been posted online and it is listed in the search engines, you can make a legal request to have it taken down. It can take some time to get the situation resolved, and you may have to take further legal action to ensure that the webmaster deals with the issue.
6.) Remove Outdated Search Results from Google – Have you changed jobs? Grew up and decided that you no longer want to follow some strange beliefs that you shared online? You can use Google’s removal tool to get the search result removed from the web. While there is no guarantee that Google will remove the search result, it is worth a try.
Instead of taking hours and hours to go through the internet and delete your own information, you can turn to our services so we can help you get through the process of removing your information from the internet.