Ways to Erase Private Information from the Internet
Unfortunately, there is no magic way to erase your private information off of the internet. At some point, hopefully, a software company will come up with a great program or script that will be able to find and delete private information on any website. It would be great to have access to an app that can “seek and destroy” information posted about you online such as your home address and cell phone numbers. You would be able to specify which items you want deleted and which you wanted to stay. Unfortunately, for right now, that software doesn’t exist. For now it has to be done manually. It’s a lot of work erasing yourself from the internet. The work as to be done site-by-site, one at a time.
The closest we have right now to an “app” that magically gets our personal data offline are data removal companies. There are great companies out there that specialize in this process of private data removal. This is a huge relief for most people when they realize the amount of work involved in the actual process. If you only have a few occurrences of your name online, then it should not be a complicated process, and it might be one you can actually do yourself without too much effort. If, however, you are like most people, you have been using the internet for a very long time. You may have been using AOL when it first came out, or maybe MyLife or other such websites. Even if it’s only been a few years since you started using the web, you will still have some data accumulated. An added problem is that public or government websites now post certain data online that can’t be removed, such as your tax rolls and other information. This doesn’t concern most people though, what is of the most concern is when people find their cell phone number, home address, salary information, former and current spouse names, and other personal things such as this online.
The removing process is much more involved than the adding processes, as you might imagine. However, it can be done. Your data can be erased from the internet either by you or by a company who specializes in personal data removal. The first steps are essentially the same, you need to do a search to find out exactly what data is out there and where. Once you have nailed down the most troublesome information, you will need to contact each site individually and ask them to get the data off their site. In some cases, you will meet resistance. You will have to be tenacious and persistent to get the data off. The companies who specialize in this have the process down to a science, so it is a little easier for them; however, it is still a lot of work and effort. Whether you decide to go it alone or go with a company, reading your private information off of the internet is a big step towards creating online privacy. You will feel safer knowing that your private information isn’t online for anyone to find. The most important thing is to take action and not let more data accumulate and pile up, as this will make it harder in the long run to remove.