The biggest trade-off that you get from being on the internet is your privacy. Everywhere you go on the internet, it asks for your private information like name, address, family information, location, bank information, etc. and you have given it away whether knowingly or unwittingly.
Big tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, or Google have most of your data such as your likes and dislikes, social connections, your health information, etc. Other platforms like data brokers have collected information about you and sold them off. Such data is used by other tech companies, who have decided you are the best candidate and are constantly nudging you into buying their products and services. Moreover, your comments on social media platforms and discussion forums are still there for everyone to read and there is a possibility of you turning out to be a Milkshake Duck because of your particular comment.
Steps To Delete Yourself From The Internet
The internet world is full of possibilities and your information in there can be used in any number of ways. If you are looking to delete yourself from the internet, you have come to the right place. This guide will show you how. But keep in mind that you cannot completely delete yourself from the internet, rather you can limit your online presence on the internet.
Deactivate Your Social Media Accounts
The most obvious place to minimize your online presence is from social media platforms. You will need to track down your old Tumblr account or Myspace and remove all your traces from them. You also might have a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube account that you need to remove as well. Simply find the settings from Account or Privacy web pages that will show you steps to deactivate your account.
Delete Old Posts
If you don’t prefer deactivating your social media accounts, you can still remove the data that you have stored online. Thousands of old messages are stored on chatbox or email account, or your social media profile might have posts that you wouldn’t want there anymore. You can consider these and remove such traces from the internet by removing them.
You don’t have to worry about your old Facebook posts showing up on Google search since Google doesn’t index them, so you’ll have to deal with these posts manually. This method might seem time-consuming since you are talking about years of Facebook posts, but in the end, such efforts will lead to you wiping off your presence on the internet.
Pay Off Data Brokers
Your presence over the internet is also managed by companies that are called data brokers. They collect all your information from everything that you do online, as in the kind of websites you visit, the clicks you make, the number of hours you spend on websites or each webpage, etc., and sell these to interested parties who are mostly interested in selling you their stuff.
Examples of such websites are Spokeo, Acxiom, Equifax, Oracle, Epsilon, etc. Some of these data broker websites allow internet users to opt out of having their personal information being processed in the future. There is a whole process behind it as well such as reaching them online, filling out some forms, and providing extra identification information. However long the process is, this step is useful for removing a little of your data from the internet.
Deleting Email Accounts
Finally, when you have ensured that all your social media accounts have been deactivated, you can go on to remove the number of email accounts that you have. You will have to sign in to them and find the option for deleting or closing the account. As per their requirement or policy, some accounts will delete right away while others will take up a couple of days or months to be deactivated. Make sure this action is your last one in deleting yourself from the internet since the previous ones need an email account to work.
If you are interested to learn how the internet was created you can read the history of the internet.
Will these steps remove your online presence from the internet? To some extent, yes. These steps might not remove all your information from the internet, but they can still limit the number of your private information available.
For future references, when you are creating a new account somewhere, you need to ask yourself if you need to enter your personal details. Wherever possible, try to mask your activities online; use a web browser that doesn’t collect your data such as DuckDuckGO; use disappearing messages on messaging apps such as Signal, WhatsApp, etc.
The kind of internet connection you opt for also speaks about the kind of security it offers during your internet browsing. Some internet providers offer protection from suspicious activity on the network traffic. For instance, an Xfinity router comes with advanced security which basically is a firewall that blocks access to certain ports on your computers along with monitoring network traffic for any threats to your internet browsing. This service can be availed through Xfinity Internet form their different services.
It’s better to keep your internet browsing secure if you feel that the internet is driving you to delete your presence due to some threat online.