Matthew Gates http://notetoservices.com 5m 1,172
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Removing Yourself From Social Media
I bet you that if you gave me your first and last name with your photo, I could probably find you online — on some Social Network or website that you registered with. The majority of people hardly think twice about the information they put online. There are plenty of people who fill out registration forms or associate their Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts with a website they are registering to, not realizing just how much information they are spreading throughout the Internet. There are also plenty of people who willingly give over their Social Security Numbers, Credit Cards, and Bank Information to legitimate companies whose websites are online.
Without much hesitation, most of us willingly submitted our bank account information to Paypal, our credit card and shipping address to Amazon, and many of us even put our entire work history on LinkedIn. It is every government organizations’ dream to have access to so much information online, which they most likely could subpoena those companies and have all the information they will ever need about you.
The Internet is mostly a public place and the majority of business and operations are conducted online, making it harder and harder to just function completely in the real world without ever having to set foot online. However, it is possible, and there many people who have chosen to forego the Internet, remove all information, and have done all they can so they cannot be traced online.
So what if you decided that you wanted to do the same and just disappear completely? Would it be possible? Could you do it? Would you want to do it? It would involve removing all your information, especially on Social Media networks, from being online and never be seen again. It would be as if you never existed on the Internet. This is not as easy to do as you think, but there are certainly steps you can take to begin the process of removing yourself from the Internet.
URL Removal Resources:
Remove outdated content from Google
Part I: Removing URLs & directories
Part II: Removing & updating cached content
Part III: URL removal explained, Part III: Removing content that you don’t own
Part IV: Tracking requests, what not to remove
Companion post: Managing what information is available about you online
justdelete.me is a directory of direct links to delete your account from web services.
This infographic covers some of necessary steps for you to take if you ever chose to disappear from the Internet completely.
Click to open / Right-click for save options
How To Disappear Online
The Internet has made it possible for personal details to a quick search term away.
From prospective jobs to prospective partners, there are some parts of our lives we don’t want published on the Internet. So restore your online dignity and take back your digital identity with the following steps.
DEACTIVATE PRIMARY ACCOUNTS
Begin deleting the profiles that you know exist.
Go To Account Settings
Select Deactivate your account
To permanently delete your account, contact the Facebook staff
Go to your Account Settings
At the bottom of the page, click on Deactivate my Account
Twitter will prompt you to enter your password
Click on the image in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
Go to Account
Click on Delete profile and remove related Google+ features
Then, select Remove selected services
Go to the Privacy & Settings page
Click on Account
Go to Helpful Links
Click on Close your account
SEARCH FOR YOURSELF
Perhaps you have an account somewhere that you forgot about such as MySpace, LiveJournal, or another inactive blog. Use search engines to track down you old Web activity.
Login to your old accounts
Delete each account accordingly
Forget your username or password? Every site has an option to retrieve each, just in case. Follow the steps to retrieve your login information via email.
FALSIFY UNDELETEABLE ACCOUNTS
Did you ever want to change your name? Now you can. Get creative! For the accounts that you are unable to delete, post fake information.
Create a false name
Create a new life
Enjoy your new alter ego!
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM MAILING LISTS
Collect all email newsletters, ads, and promotions
Click the link at the bottom of each of these emails that says, unsubscribe
Follow the prompts to take your email address of of their email mailing list
NOTE: Sometimes unsubscribing from these emails is impossible, use Email Spam Filter to block these emails permanently for the ones that do not give you an option to unsubscribe or have provided an unsubscribe feature that does not work.
DELETE SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS
You can request search engines to delete results that return information about you.
TIP: Google has a URL removal tool to help you with this process.
For websites that you have no control over you’ll need to personally contact the Webmaster.
Be ready! Some web masters may argue that public information should remain public.
CONSIDER DATA CLEARINGHOUSES
There are companies that track your online behavior and sell that data to other companies. Websites such as Intelius, Spokeo, and PeopleFinders are commonly used data clearinghouses. To delete your information from these sites, prepare to do the following.
Make an absurd amount of phone calls
Fill out a metric ton of paperwork
Use a fax machine
Consider a paid service, such as DeleteMe, to do all the legal work
CHECK IN WITH YOUR PHONE COMPANY
Some phone companies have your information listed online. Ask your provider to make you unlisted.
DELETE YOUR EMAIL
Leave this step until last just in case you need your email to receive information regarding passwords and usernames you might have forgotten.
TIP: Seek legal counsel when it comes to information that is false or defamatory to your character.
TIP: Check in with clearinghouses and background-check websites yearly to catch any new information that has been collected about you.
TIP: Use DuckDuckGo, an anonymous search engine that does not collect or share search history.
PRESENTED BY WhoIsHostingThis?
Delete my Google+ Profile: support.google.com
Webmaster Tools: – My Removal Requests: www.google.com
HowTo Delete Yourself the Internet: www.wikihow.com
How Do I permanently delete my account: www.facebook.com
Closing Your Account | LinkedIn Help Center: help.linkedin.com
Twitter Support: Deactivating your account: support.twitter.com
C|Net How To Delete Yourself From the Internet: www.cnet.com/how-to/
How to Commit Internet Suicide and Disappear from the Web Forever: www.lifehacker.com
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.