How to disappear from the internet: 11 steps (with pictures)

How to disappear from the internet: 11 steps (with pictures)
How to disappear from the internet: 11 steps (with pictures)
Anonim

Want to erase your tracks? Escape the Internet? While cyber celebrity delights some, it is a real burden to others. Completely erasing your online presence isn't always possible, but you will still be able to eliminate the vast majority of your personal information lying around the web and social media apps.

Steps

Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 1

Step 1. Think about alternatives to deleting your accounts

Most of the following steps are irremediable and you will lose information, thus giving up any potentially profitable presence that you have developed online. In some cases, you won't even be able to recreate an account with the same name.

  • Could there be another way to deal with the problem, like changing your name online or using an email address other than your primary address? For example, if your current email address is associated with unwanted information, you could create a new one, which you will only use for business transactions, such as sending your CVs or scholarship applications.
  • If you're worried about your old tweets, you can delete them all, instead of deleting your Twitter account entirely.
  • If you're trying to escape the attention of a malicious or pushy person, read How to Deal With Harassment and know what to do with it.
  • If false or defamatory information about you is published online, contact a lawyer to find out how to resolve the problem.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 2

Step 2. Search for your name on Google

The best way to know what information to delete is to see what information others have access to. To search for your name on Google, enclose it in quotation marks so that you only see results that match your name. List all the websites where your name appears.

  • If you have a name that is common, include your city or profession in the search.
  • To learn how to get the best results from a Google search, look for suitable techniques.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 3

Step 3. Ask Google to remove the information

Here is very good news for European citizens: since 2014, you can ask Google to remove your personal information from its search results. Click on this link to access the form to fill out.

  • No matter where you are, you can ask Google to remove outdated content from its search results. The only condition is that you should have deleted or edited the content and the Google version is now incorrect. To access the removal tool, click on this link.
  • Once you complete the steps in this article, the unwanted search results should be gone, unless they are archived elsewhere.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 4

Step 4. Delete your social media and gaming site accounts

Social networks and online gambling sites are so popular that they are usually where people will try to find you on the Internet. It's not always easy to remember all the accounts you've created over the years, but you can always opt out of popular sites first. It won't necessarily be enough to remove your deep web presence, but it's a good start nonetheless. To get started, follow this list.

  • Permanently delete their Facebook account.
  • Delete your Instagram account.
  • Delete your Twitter account.
  • Delete your YouTube account.
  • Delete your LinkedIn account.
  • Delete your Google+ account.
  • Delete your MySpace account.
  • Also remember to delete your Twitch account.
  • Remember to do the same for your TikTok account if you have one.
  • The recommendation also applies to your Pinterest account, which you will need to delete.
  • If you have a Foursquare account, include it in the list of accounts to delete.
  • Also delete your Minecraft account.
  • If you signed up for Steam, delete your account.
  • Do the same for your Soundcloud account.
  • Also delete your Flickr account.
  • Don't forget sites like Ning, Yahoo Groups, and private forums. If you can't delete your account from a private forum, you can usually ask an administrator to edit your posts.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 5

Step 5. Delete your websites and blogs

If you created a personal blog or website through a free service like Blogger, Wordpress, or Medium, delete all of their content, then close your accounts. If you have purchased a paid hosting service, contact the service and ask to close your account and delete your site.

  • If your website or blog was publicly accessible, it was probably archived by Archive.org Wayback Machine. Read this article to learn how to determine if your site has been archived. While there is no official procedure for unarchiving a site, some webmasters have managed to do this by contacting [email protected]
  • Remember to delete your accounts on advertising tools, statistical tools and other plug-ins.
  • If you have submitted articles to online publications or other sites, you may be able to remove them by contacting the publisher.
  • If your content has been shared by other blogs, contact the owners of those blogs and ask them to remove your name and post.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 6

Step 6. Cancel your profiles on dating sites

Even if you don't use your real name on your dating site profiles, they will still be linked to your email address, phone number, or other identifier. To remove your presence from the most popular dating sites, follow this list.

  • Delete your Tinder account.
  • Delete your Zoosk account.
  • Also delete your Meetic account.
  • Remember to do the same with your Tinder eHarmony account.
  • Also delete your OkCupid account.
  • Delete your Ashley Madison account, if you have one.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 7

Step 7. Remove your name from brokerage marketing sites

If you are over 18, your Google search results for your name probably show people search sites (like Spokeo, InstantCheckmate, Intelius). These sites buy people's personal information and share it with the public, at a price. The good news is that it's usually easy to remove your name and information from these sites. Here are some useful links.

  • InstantCheckmate:

    www.instantcheckmate.com/opt-out (in English).

  • Intelius:

    www.intelius.com/optout (in English).

  • FamilyTreeNow:

    www.familytreenow.com/optout (in English).

  • Spokeo:

    www.spokeo.com/optout (in English).

  • Contact your telephone company and make sure you are not listed online. If you are, ask to have your details removed entirely.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 8

Step 8. Delete your online shopping and payment accounts

Sites like eBay and Amazon provide public versions of your profiles to other users, and this information is easy to find using search engines. It will be important to delete these accounts. If you want to go even further, also consider deleting your profiles on PayPal and Venmo. Consider deleting your accounts at the following online shopping sites and payment services.

  • Delete your Amazon account.
  • Delete your eBay account.
  • Delete your PayPal account.
  • Delete your Square account.
  • Delete your Venmo account.
  • Do not forget your profiles on local classifieds sites, such as your profile on leboncoin or even on Etsy.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 9

Step 9. Edit the profiles that cannot be deleted

Some sites do not allow you to delete a profile and only offer you to "deactivate" or abandon your account, while your information will remain in the system. If you need to delete your account for legal or security reasons, contact the site owner or engineers. You should at least be able to get your name changed to cover your true identity. If you can't get your problem covered, try the following steps.

  • Log into your account and delete all your personal information. If some fields cannot be left blank, fill them in with a wrong name, such as Dingus Oppenheimer IV or John Smith. Do the same on any accounts that you cannot delete, and remember to vary the names and other information, so that it is not possible to reconcile your different accounts. Be aware, however, that you will not be able to link these accounts to non-existent email addresses, as the site will send a confirmation email to the address indicated. This takes us to the next step.
  • If you don't have an anonymous email address to associate with the profile, create one on a free webmail service. Make sure the address you create does not include any identifying information.
  • Once you have this new anonymous email address, link it to the profile you are unable to delete and confirm the change of address. Once the change is made, make sure that your real email address does not appear anywhere on this account.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 10

Step 10. Use the services of a professional

If you have a problem or the task intimidates you, know that there are companies that specialize in data deletion. Their services aren't free, but the cost could be worth it if you want the job done quickly and efficiently. Find a service that meets the following criteria.

  • The professional will remove your presence from the "deep web" and not just the most obvious sites.
  • The company has agreements with data source providers.
  • The service is well rated by customers.
Delete Yourself from the Internet Step 11

Step 11. Delete your webmail (optional)

Once your presence has been sufficiently deleted from the web, you may be able to delete your webmail account. Do not delete your webmail until your Internet presence has been satisfactorily eliminated. Indeed, you may need your email address to contact certain sites.

  • If your email address doesn't mention your name, just make sure your name and other personal information doesn't appear anywhere else on your profile. For example, if you use a free email service, like Gmail or Outlook, log into the site, open the settings page, and replace any mention of your real name with a fictional name.
  • If you are using a paid courier service, contact the company and inquire about your options. You will need to be able to contact a customer advisor who can help you.
  • Before deleting your account, always make sure that you do not delete important information that you want to keep. Transfer all the files you need to a USB drive or other data storage method.

Advice

  • Some mentions of your name may be impossible to erase, such as a newspaper appearance or an interview you have given.
  • Ask your friends to remove any photos of you (or photos you've taken) from their social media profiles.
  • To find out who owns a site and who to contact to request removal of your information, you can use WHOIS or another search service. This will be especially useful if no contact email appears on the site in question. Look for admin email and server data.
  • If your name is very common on the web, you have a problem with it and you don't know what to do, seek help from a privacy association, such as "Digital Self-Protection Against Surveillance".
  • If false or defamatory information about you appears online, contact a lawyer to find out how to take legal action.

Warnings

  • Keep in mind that there is no way to be absolutely certain that someone does not have information that you have ever shared on the Internet, even after you delete it. Always be careful about the information you share online: Caution is mother of safety.
  • Expect some webmasters to insist that it is their "right" to make this information public. Some will not understand that you want to erase your presence and will experience it as a personal affront to their values. Insist and if necessary get help from a professional or a lawyer.
  • Some sites use emotional blackmail techniques to get you to stay. Comments like "your friends will miss you" are meant to make you reconsider because the site does not want to lose a user. If you falter, take pictures of your real friends, place them on your desktop and click “delete”. Call your friends and suggest they go for a drink together. Do not get fooled !

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