How to delete yourself from the internet

Fear not: erasing yourself from the internet is possible.

How to delete yourself from the internet

The internet has made it possible for just about anyone to access information about you with the click of a button. But if you’re a security-conscious person, this may not sit well with you. Fear not, erasing yourself entirely from the internet can be a big task, but it is possible.

Delete or deactivate your online accounts
This includes:

  • social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, etc.)
  • online shopping accounts (eBay, CatchOfTheDay, Amazon, etc.)
  • web services accounts (email, Dropbox, Flybuys, etc.)

All sites vary, but generally, you’ll find the option to delete or deactivate under a title such as Security or Privacy.

Contrary to popular belief, your Facebook account can be permanently deleted (not just deactivated). All you need to do is head to Delete My Account and click the blue button.  Be warned, however, that this is a permanent step. So if you wish to keep your Facebook history, be sure to download it onto your computer first. Do this by clicking on Account Settings > General > Download a copy of your Facebook Data > Start My Archive.

When it comes to blogs, you may need to contact the webmaster if you want to have an old blog post removed.

Tip: leave your email deactivation until the end, so that if you need to resend passwords to yourself to complete the deactivation process, you'll have somewhere to send them.

Remove your information from data collection websites
You might have noticed ads running across your computer screen that seem to be tailored to you – this is not a coincidence. Some sites collect and store your information in order to promote products to you while you’re browsing online.

Rather than tracking down all these websites (how would you know!) the most effective way to remove yourself from their databases is to fork out a bit of money. For the one-year membership of $130, services like DeleteMe do the hard work for you, and make sure your name is never re-added to any lists. 

And there's Unroll.Me – a free email service that you can use to unsubscribe yourself from any subscriptions services you signed onto in the past. Unsubscriber also offers a similar free service.

Deleting yourself from the internet means backtracking through your history and erasing your online footprint. It can be difficult to really know whether your data will be permanently removed, but by following this guide you will do more than enough to disappear from the online world – if that’s your wish. 

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    13th Aug 2018
    You may be living in fairyland Amelia. You may delete the account but that does not mean the information they already hold will be deleted. It won't.
    The other question is do any of us really want to live on a mountain top by ourselves by disconnecting from the real world? Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.
    13th Aug 2018
    Mick...yes all data in in perpetual cyber space but it would be nice if it was all kept private too.
    13th Aug 2018
    So true MICK. You can only delete it so you can't see it. :)
    I have unsubscribed from many an item that keeps on coming back to say hi.
    13th Aug 2018
    How True !! I changed Computers Passwords the lot !! But Deputy Dawg still found Me :-) :-) The only way I've found to put them in the Dump is Dont Open-Dont Answer- Just Delete !! It takes about 3 to 4 Months :-( But then Silence... AHhhh !! :-) :-)
    13th Aug 2018
    PS .. If your using Telstra Mail and Windows 7 just right Click on the item without Opening it, and put the site in the Bad Boys Box !! That works Immediately :-) :-)
    Ted Wards
    13th Aug 2018
    You also didn't address the issue of if you use those accounts such as Facebook to log into other sites. You can deactivate your Facebook account but you may then lose access to sites you may want to keep such as online travel bookings, ancestry sites etc. The easiest way is to not create it in the first place! Im very wary about what i sign up for now, and one area to be very aware of is online contests, many of which are fake and are just a marketing exercise to get your details. This is also why people have fake email addresses so they don't use their real identity. Now through data mining, even the ads on your screen can mine your details from cookies etc. I think this article probably needed to look into this subject a bit more deeply, because even if you have not deactivated accounts that are no longer around like My Space, your details are still available through these sites. To have your actual digital footprint properly erased is now a big industry and you only get what you pay for. These free sites don't dig really deeply and probably provide a band aid effect at most.
    13th Aug 2018
    YES !! This Site should have a LIKE Button !! :-) :-)
    I signed up to Facebook Years back !! And it took me about that long to get rid of it !! :-( :-( :-( Calling myself John Smith in the first place was handy Too !! :-) :-) :-)
    pedro the swift
    13th Aug 2018
    Easy way out!. Just don't give these sites any info about yourself or at least the very minimum.

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