Erasing your digital footprint is one challenging task because you probably have forgotten that your enrollment on websites and services. Either you have provoked a group online, did something embarrassing, or want your data away from the internet to make you feel secure. There are now ways to delete your digital footprint completely.
Completely erasing your existence online is an ambitious undertaking all thanks to the advancement of personal data collection practices. Some information about yourself would be nearly impossible to remove, such as finding your information on the dark web would require law enforcement.
Remove Yourself From The Social Media Accounts
Regardless if you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Pinterest, if you want to start cleaning up your footprint, then you must begin with these places. Not to mention, those are just one of the few popular social media accounts. There are countless more that you might not even hear of, or you might not also remember registering.
Hunting For Your Data
It is now time to clean up bits and pieces of your digital footprint. The most convenient way in looking for other websites that have your information on it is Google Search. The search engine will optimize and show the results of all sites that your information is currently involved with, all with a single click of a search button.
However, not all of the websites that are involved with your information will show up in the search results. Some websites are very rigorous when in terms of privacy and cybersecurity, which is the reason why there are sites that are not going to be displayed in the results of Google Search.
Tracing and Removing Other Online Accounts
From emails to social media, tons of websites require you to register and sign in to use their services or even to see what is inside their site. Thus resulting in people registering to websites for one time use only and forget about it for the rest of your life. Although you can delete them online in two ways.
Manual Account Deletion
You would have to remember every website that you have encountered in your lifetime and try to remember their corresponding usernames and passwords. There is a pleasant way to do this if you have numerous email accounts. Open them all and search it from the very beginning. There you will see all the websites that you used your email to log in.
Automatic Account Deletion
There is a service tool online called ‘deseat.me,’ That helps the users erase their enrolled accounts that they have acquired over time. Because if you have been using the world wide web regularly. There is a considerable amount of chance that you have existing accounts registered to websites and services that are now unknown to you.
Removing Yourself From The Mailing List
Although websites that you have registered to will allow its users to unsubscribe from their mailing list manually. There is a website called ‘unroll.me’. It is an excellent internet service that does the work for you. It is a great alternative that makes unsubscribing from the mail list quick and convenient.
Remove All Your Email Accounts
The number of steps for the process varies depending on what kind of email account you currently have. But you would have to sign in to all of your email accounts individually. And look for in the settings the option to delete the existing account. Although some accounts would remain dormant after removing, users can reactivate the email accounts if needed.
What If You Can’t Delete Your Data?
There are websites service that you register to that does not allow its users to delete their information recorded on their site entirely. Some websites only allow its users to deactivate their accounts. And the website tells the users they will be waiting if they ever change their minds.
However, you can play their little game and beat the odds. Furthermore, the website or services doesn’t allow the users to erase their data on their website thoroughly. Then the users can add false information, such as an invalid name, fake birthday, fake address, and a fake number. So users can have peace of mind thinking they don’t have any data against them anymore.
Make “Being Cautious” A Routine
Whether if you have already suffered from an online attack with the use of your data. Or just merely concerned about what could happen to you if your information roams freely on the internet. You must start limiting yourself in giving away your complete information to websites. Either famous or unknown, we don’t know the threat it may cause.
Always put into mind, completely removing your digital footprint on the internet is a burdensome task that is nearly impossible to accomplish. But it is only ‘nearly’ impossible. You can achieve the mission. Don’t expect to find and delete all your online accounts entirely within a day. Because it could take up to a week or even a month if you’re determined.