While online presence serves to be useful and thrilling to many people, some people think of it as a burden.
They may want to escape from the hold of the Internet and deleting themselves from the system may seem like their only option.
But there is a significant problem here- It may not be possible to remove yourself entirely from the Internet.
Making your presence known on the Internet is now much more comfortable than removing your imprints from it.
Information keeps on circulating from one person to the other and what one may have shared originally at one platform may now have reached to hundred others on some other social media platform.Therefore, it is essential that you ponder over your reason as to why you want to delete yourself from the Internet and if it is necessary to do so or not, before attempting to do the task.
Further, you should also be aware that you might not be completely erased from the Internet even after your numerous attempts.
The following are some of the steps that you can execute to make your presence as minimal as possible on the Internet:
Delete all your social media, shopping, email and web service accounts
While it is more than likely that you have created much more accounts on different sites than you remember, you should start by deleting all the ones that you do remember.
This includes deleting your account from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, PayPal, LinkedIn, and all the gaming sites. Further, cancel all your email accounts; though you might want to check and make sure that you are not deleting any important information.
Erase all your information from the deactivated accounts
Some sites don’t allow the users to delete their accounts completely and here you can only deactivate them while your system stays on the system.
Here, if you have a legit reason like witness protection, you can request the site’s owner to take down your account.But if that is not possible, then you should start by removing all your information from that account.
Further, you should change your email id and link the account with a new one and then delete the new email id too.
In this way, your account will be linked to an email id that does not exist; hence concealing your real identity.
Delete all personal blog, forums, and articles
If you have published any personal blogs or posted any forum posts on the Internet, then you should delete all of them.
And though articles posted on article mill sites are often subjected to terms and conditions, you should try requesting the site’s owner if you are desperate to remove every trace of yours from the Internet.
Cancel all your subscriptions and mailing lists
Cancel all the mailing lists from the sites that you must have subscribed previously.
These sites usually send in a direct link to your email id for so that you can cancel the subscription but if there seems to be some difficulty, then contact the administrators right away to solve this issue.
Further, make sure that your phone company or any other associate have not put in your information online as part of their customer database. If they have, then request the company to remove it immediately.
Remove yourself from the search engine
If your name was mentioned in any old site or page, then it is likely that it will become outdated and would not show among the results when searched on the Internet.
However, to make sure, you should type your name or a word similar to it to know if there is any information about you on the Internet or not.
If there is, then you should start by deleting it manually and requesting the search engines directly if you are not able to do it on your own. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc, are some of the search engines that you might want to look through.
Further, sometimes paperwork like fax might be required by these search engines to confirm your real identity if you want to remove your information from the search engine.
Consider getting help from experts
If your reasons for deleting your presence online are pressing, then you might want to consider hiring a professional company that has expertise in removing information from the Internet.
Though you will have to pay some amount to these companies, they work much effectively than how we could do.
They will remove your imprints from the ‘deep web’ rather than from just the oblivious sources.
Also, you won’t have to go through the tiresome and exhausting process of contacting ever search engine and site one by one to get yourself removed or deleted from the Internet.
Clean up all your devices
You should also remove all the Internet history, cookies from your tablets, Smartphone, and computers.
Further, you should also remove the Internet program if you are so determined.
Therefore, the key to making this task successful is to remain polite and patient at all times.
There may be times when you become very frustrated and irritated and may shout at the manager of the site.
But this could do worse than good, and the manager may not be so willing to help you at the end of your conversation.
So, you should remain polite at all times and try to explain it to them patiently as to what is the reason behind you want to delete yourself from the Internet.
Threatening to take some legal action and shouting should only be done when the staff of the site is being really bad support and not taking account of your requests at all.Further, you should be able to shrug off whatever information or content that you are not able to remove.
Photos of you in other people’s albums, interviews, and mentions of you in newspaper, television, and blog posts are some of the things that might be difficult to erase, and you should accept the reality as it is.