Tired of the internet already? You conclusively want to get off the web for your own reasons and leave no traces? It really isn’t an easy task but this will help you remove yourself the internet.
However, removing yourself 100% on the internet may not be possible since a friend/family have included you in some online post, forms, etc. But it is a sure way to minimise your online traces.
1. Delete social network, shopping, and web service accounts
Round up all the social networks you have signed on to. Apart from the big names like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, there may be some other not-so-popular networks you joined. Go back to them all and deactivate or delete the accounts.
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Also, which shopping sites have you registered on? Jumia, Amazon, OLX, Tonaton, eBay? Make sure you don’t leave any behind.
Usually you’ll find the options to delete, deactivate, remove or close your account in your account settings. If you can’t find how to do it for some particular account, search online for how to delete such an account.
2. Remove your info directly from websites
Comments you made on web articles, posts from online forums, blogs, etc. Contact the webmaster of those sites individually and politely ask them to take them down. Go to the “Contact us” or “About us” section of the site to find the right person to talk to. You can also go www.whois.com and search the domain name to know who owns the site.
A lot of sites are aren’t obligated to take down your posts, especially private website operators. So the key here is to ask politely and perhaps tell them the reason why you want it off. Hopefully, they will listen to you.
3. Outdated search results
Here, the Google’s URL removal tool becomes handy. It erases past evidence of you from the internet.
For instance, your name was listed in an event, company, etc. and when you search your name it appears in the results. The results may show your name but the link may not contain any info of you. This means the old version of the page is cached on Google’s servers.
Here’s how to go about it. Submit the URL to Google. You then have to hope it’ll update its servers deleting the cached search result you’re previously associated with.
For Google’s own reason, there’s no guarantee Google will remove the cached info. But it is worth giving it a try.
4. Remove yourself from data collection sites
In the age, every information about you is very valuable, thus the Information Age. Since information is worth something, there are companies out there that collect your information and sell it. They’re called data brokers. Example of such names are Whitepages.com, PeopleFinder and Spokeo.
They sell your information to mainly advertisers to specifically advertise to you.
You can go on these sites and search for yourself. Now you’d have to deal with each site individually to get your name removed.
The process for removing yourself from these sites can be difficult. An easier way to do it is to use a tool like DeleteMe at Abine.com. This tool costs about GH₵600 per year. It help take care of all the tedious hoops for you. It will also check back every few months to make sure your information is not back on those sites.
5. Now remove your email accounts
The steps you’ll take to close down an email account varies depending on the type of email services you are using. Basically, you will sign in to your account and find the option to delete or deactivate the account.
Some services will make the account stay open after some time in case you want reactivate it. Email address is mostly going to be used on the previous approaches that why it is the last thing to delete.
So make sure you don’t delete your email account until you’re done the previous ones.
Patience is needed…
Note that all these procedures may take time to complete, so you’d have to exercise patience. And also remember not everything about will completely be wiped off the internet.
Happy off-grid living!