If your personal information is freely available on the internet, you can become the victim of scammers and fraudsters. Handy believes that it is important for everyone to know how they can remove all their personal information from the web. Many people want to do it because they want to start clean. Other people do it to take a break or stop spam.
Here are some ways you can remove your personal information from the internet –
- Delete all your social media accounts – Social media websites like YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter contain a huge amount of personal details about you which can also be accessed by some 3rd party apps or companies if you have given them access. So, the first step is to delete all your social media profiles.
Before deleting the accounts, review all the apps that have access to your personal information and start restricting their access. You can also track down the 3rd party websites to make sure that they have deleted all your information. After you get confirmation, feel free to delete all your social media accounts.
- Request data brokers to remove your information – Data broker companies like Whitepages, Spokeo, and PeopleFinder collect information about people and sell them to third parties in order to earn money. These third parties buy information from data brokers in order to advertise their products and target their audience more correctly. You can visit every data broker site and request them to delete all your information or use a premium service like DeleteMe to make the process swift and smooth.
- Request Google to remove your personal information – You can request Google to remove search results which contain your personal information by filling out a Google removal request form. Now, this process is not guaranteed to remove 100% of the search results which contain your information, but it will remove the majority of it.
- Request webmasters to directly remove your information on their site – If you come across a webpage which has listed your personal information, simply contact them by visiting the ‘contact us’ section of their webpage and ask them to remove your information on your website.
- Delete your personal websites and blogs – If you run a blog or own a website, it is also important to delete them. It is very easy to delete your own website. Simply visit your hosting account and delete your website or account.
- Delete your email account – This is the final step. Before deleting your email account, make sure you don’t need it ever again. This is the last step because in order to complete the previous steps you need to have an email account.
According to Handy, it is impossible to remove all the information available about you from the internet. Once your information is uploaded on the web, anybody can see it and make a copy. There is nothing you can do to prevent that from happening. However, following the steps above is a nice start and for most people, it will be enough.