How to delete your personal information from the Internet
Removing that information from the Internet is possible, although hard, and there are some ways to ensure this is done successfully.
In an increasingly connected world, most people’s personal data is available for all Internet users to access. This certainly takes away much of our privacy, since it is possible to obtain information such as address, kinship, email accounts, telephone number, among many other personal details.
With all the news about attacks, identity theft, financial crimes and so on, the Internet is definitely not a safe place to display personal information. So, how can you remove all this information from the World Wide Web? Let’s talk about a few ways.
Start by deleting or shielding your social networks
While social networks are great places for us to get in touch with friends and family, as well as following the pages we are most interested in, they also have a devilish side. They contain a lot of information regarding their users, and anyone can know a lot about a certain person simply by looking at their public profile on a social network.
With this in mind, anyone wanting to protect his/her personal information should consider if it is really worth to have a social network account and, if so, shielding it from prying eyes is key.
Go for a specialized tool
Getting personal information out of the Internet is really hard, but using a specialized tool or service will surely make the process easier. DeleteMe, a product of Abine, works by taking the names submitted by the user and actively searching for them, a work done by human operators. This ensures a higher degree of effectiveness in removing the data from the Internet.
Within 7 days, DeleteMe sends the user a Removal Report, containing information about the databases have been scanned, what data related to the user has been found, and what DeleteMe is doing to remove it – here is an example report. After this, data keeps being removed quarterly, in order to make sure there is not re-adding of the information.
A one-year membership for DeleteMe costs $130, a price that does not seem so high when we are dealing with our personal privacy.
Try to enlist Google’s help
Being by far the biggest search engine in the entire Internet, it should be no surprise that Google allows access to a big chunk a person’s data that is scattered around the Web. Even though it offers a way for users to request the removal of sensitive information, guided by some policies, most of the times it will not.
The reason for this is easily explainable: most of the times, Google simply indexes pages on the web, which means it does not control the content of those pages. Despite this, users can contact the webmasters of those sites directly and ask them to remove their info.