You do a lot online. Research topics of interest, interact with friends and family on social media, shop for the things you need, and get assignments done for school or work. But everything that you do leaves behind a digital footprint that might be putting your personal information in the hands of the wrong people.
If you want to clean things up and delete, or at least improve, your digital footprint, there are some things you can do. We’ve compiled some tips below to help you get started.
Find Out Where Your Personal Information Is Easy to Find
Are there any websites that are making it easy for people to find your personal information, such as your background, address, phone numbers, emails, and more? The only way to know is by performing a simple search of your full name on Google. See what appears in the results. You’ll likely find websites that act as databases of information, such as Whitepages.
When you find your information on data collection sites, if you wish to remove it, you can find instructions online. For example, you can find a MyLife opt-out page that gives you the directions you need.
Alternatively, you can visit the websites directly and search for their removal instructions. For instance, if your info is on PeopleFinders, you’ll want to find the PeopleFinders opt-out site to get the instructions you need.
Delete Old Accounts You No Longer Use
Think about all of the various websites that you joined in the past, from MySpace to Reddit. This might be difficult to do, but a simple search on Google can help in this regard as well. You might find that your accounts are still active, even though you haven’t used those platforms in a really long time. So, another thing you can do to delete your digital footprint is: deactivate old accounts you no longer use.
Keep in mind that it isn’t just social media accounts that you should look for when figuring out which old accounts are still out there. Also, consider what retail sites you used to shop on, and the data that they might still have on you. Removing those accounts can help you further delete your information from the internet.
Also, if you have any old email addresses that you no longer use, it is worth getting rid of them. It’s just a matter of going to those email providers’ websites and searching for the instructions that will allow you to remove your accounts with ease.
Contact Google and Websites Directly
If there is any outdated or false information about you online, you can take steps to have it removed. Google has support pages on which you can find instructions on how to contact them to have certain types of information removed. However, it is also wise to contact websites directly to have them take down information about you, particularly if it isn’t accurate.
It Takes Work to Delete Your Digital Footprint!
Because you have spent years online, and you have done a lot in that time period, it can be time-consuming and a little challenging to remove all of your information from the internet. But if this is something that you really want to do, it is certainly possible to get it done, especially if you know what steps to follow.