There was a time when it was possible to monitor what information about you was available online. The internet and various social media platforms have made accessing this information easier and more brutal to delete.
Not everyone feels comfortable erasing themselves from the web. The NordVPN survey in 2022 found that 55% of Americans wish they could delete themselves from the internet, while 42% fear someone will hack them.
In most cases, you cannot guarantee that any information you remove will stay offline permanently after being removed from the internet. There are ways to minimize your digital footprint.
Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN, says you can wipe your data in several ways.
Search For Yourself On Google
Start by understanding what information is available about you. When you share something online, google yourself to see what photos and personal information you have uploaded to the internet.
Markuson recommends identifying sites that have hosted your data, including forums and websites you own. By performing a Google search, find out what areas have cloned or logged your data.
Deactivate, Delete, And Clear
When you’ve located this information, remove anything you can and delete, anonymize, or deactivate the account.
If you want to leave no trace, delete all your social media accounts, online dating accounts, Skype accounts, and other service accounts. Don’t forget to remove data from sites and apps you no longer use. You should also note that search engines may take a while to clear their caches.
Make Use Of Legal Remedies If Necessary
Content that is online without your consent can also be pursued legally. Data protection laws like the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act in the U.S. ensure legal rights and consequences.
Ringel said, “Examples of legal actions are the many GDPR and CCPA fines.” The cosmetics giant Sephora, for instance, was fined $1.2 million for not disclosing that it was selling consumers’ personal information. To remove information from the internet legally, contact a lawyer.
While remaining vigilant and cautious about how your information is presented online, you should be free to use the internet on your terms.