How to disappear from the Internet?
The internet is all knowing these days. The amount of information out there about a person is actually pretty scary. The more social you are, the more easily someone interested in you can find out almost anything they'd like to know. Even if you aren't using social networking accounts and forums you can still be leaving a digital trail. If this scares you a little, here are some tips to go off the grid.
1.Delete your online accounts - As already noted, it's possible that you've joined up to more sites than you'll ever remember. The more well-known the site, however, the better it is to remove yourself from it when trying to disappear from the internet. Chances are the first results that pop up on a Google search of your name are your social network profiles. This likely includes things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and anywhere else you're using your real name. So, the first step to disappear is to remove these profiles. The following list is provided to help make it easier for you to know how to start ridding yourself of the principal sites -
Delete yourself from
- Game sites
2. Search Result - Once you get rid of your social profiles, content is likely still floating around the web that you need to get rid of. They might be images, articles, or even employer websites. The first thing to do is figure out where you're showing up online in search results. Search Google and make a note where you name shows up on web sites. You essentially have one course of action to remove this content - contact the source directly. Email the web site hosting the content and politely ask them to remove it. There are companies out there that collect your information. They're called data brokers and they have names like Spokeo, Crunchbase, PeopleFinder, as well as plenty of others. They collect data from everything you do online and then sell that data to interested parties, mostly in order more specifically advertise to you and sell you more stuff. In some instances, however, you will need to contact search engines directly for the trickier removals. Be aware that removing yourself from search engines can be fairly detailed work that sometimes involves paperwork in the real world. Major search engines and people search engines that you will probably want to look through include:
- White Pages
- US Search
- Yahoo People Search
- Zaba Search
- People Finder
- Crunch base
3. Close your personal sites - If you have created sites on the internet, you will need to remove them completely. This also goes for anything you may have out there showing your portfolio. There are other ways you can show people samples of your work.
4. Cancel your email account - If you've completed all the stages above, you've had proof or actively identified that your data, image and profile has been removed you have no need for your email address any more. It shouldn't surprise you that deleting an account with major email providers such isn't the most straightforward process.
5. Clean up your computer - Finally remove all internet history, cookies, internet program if you're really adamant.
If you've managed to successfully complete all these steps, then you are now effectively anonymous online. But remember to be patient when going through this process, and don't expect to complete it in one day. You may also have to accept that there some things you won't be able permanently delete from the internet. However, staying that way is anything but straightforward, and you'll need to be very careful about what data you enter into websites from now on.
Still, if you've gone to this level of effort, you probably have better things to be doing than using the internet. Switch off the computer, step outside, and bask in your new found nameless freedom.