Data breaches. Identity theft. Bank fraud. Every week, we read a fearsome new headline about cybercrime.
Reputable services fall victim to anonymous hackers. Ransomware holds random computer users files hostage. And what about those websites that track your every move, targeting you with personalized advertisements?
Maybe you’ve considered the unthinkable: removing yourself from the internet.
Well, there’s bad news and good news. You can’t erase yourself completely from the digital universe. Courts and government agencies have been posting public records online since the mid-1990s. Your motor vehicle records, voter files, property tax assessments, professional licenses, and court files are all on the digital books, and they’re not going anywhere.
Tip in a Tip: If you’d like to see what’s online about you or someone you know, click here to learn how to do a free background check.
The good news: You can remove a lot of online information, significantly reducing your digital footprint. How can you do it?
Here are several ways to effectively delete yourself from the internet.
Delete Your Online Accounts
You probably have more online accounts than you realize – most of us do. We sign up for all sorts of services, from Netflix and Amazon to Groupon and Twitter. Even if you haven’t downloaded an app in years, Apple, Facebook or Google still possesses a lot of private information, along with so many other virtual services.
If you really want to terminate your internet presence, you’ll want to eliminate these accounts, especially the ones you don’t use anymore.
This may sound like an uphill battle since each service has its own policies and deactivation process. But the easiest method is Account Killer, a website that provides direct links to your most popular accounts and instructions on how to wipe the slate clean. Click here to find out how Account Killer works.
Maybe you just want to clean up your digital tracks. Does the idea of Google knowing your every search creep you out? Click here to erase everything you’ve ever searched for on Google.
If you’re not careful, you’re probably exposing more of your life than you want to on Facebook. Click here for checking and setting essential Facebook privacy settings.
Certainly, you can delete your Facebook account. I have the steps on how to do that on my site.
But if all you need is a Facebook break, there is the option to deactivate your account. Click here for steps on how to deactivate or delete your Facebook account.