We’ve all considered it. On those days when the comments section of news websites just get a bit too much to handle, or when those photos from Spring Break 2004 resurface and your mom can see them, the suggestion comes to mind: How about I delete myself from the internet entirely?
The more important question is this: CAN you delete yourself from the internet completely?
You can, in fact. But it will take some time, and might not be as easy as you first think. However, if you want to remove yourself from Google’s grasp, here’s where you might want to start.
1. Delete your social media accounts, your subscriptions, and your accounts on all other websites.
We tend to have myriad social media accounts, even when we don’t use them. That means that as well as deleting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, look for old MySpace, Tumblr and Google+ accounts, deleting all that you find. Then look to your internet shopping habits: eBay, Amazon, Gap, the lot. Then the rest: your internet dating sites, job seeking sites, streaming and video sites, travel sites, gambling sites, gaming services. There will be many. This will take some time.
Some of these deletions will be more difficult than others, because some sites don’t want to lose you. Google “how to delete [name of the site] account” to find information on how.
**2. Delete your blog and website, then perform a hardcore vanity search.</p>
</strong>Start with your own sites, and then search for your own name using search engines. Then search for any combination of your name plus your date of birth, places you’ve worked, places you’ve studied and your job title.
Also do a reverse image search with the photo you use most often for your social media accounts. This will help you to build a list of sites that you will need to contact.**
**3. Request removals from data collection sites, search engines and other websites.</p>
</strong>Now, the tedious part: you’re going to have to contact the webmasters, editors, owners and writers of the sites and request the removal of your name, image or information. Data collection sites often store your information as a matter of public record, but some will be a little more hesitant to remove you. Check out the freedom of information laws in your country and use these as a guideline.
**4. Delete your email account/s and your email address/es.</p>
</strong>The final step: delete your email accounts. This isn’t exactly simple, but compared to the process you’ve just been through, it’s relatively easy.
And voila: You’re gone!