It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep personal information off the internet. Between social media, online directories, and data brokers, there are many places where your name, address, and other identifying details can be found.
Even if you try removing this information from the internet, it can still be out there.
The biggest threat is if someone has your personal information, they can use it to steal your identity or target you in a scam.
This article will show you how to remove personal information from internet on your own. We’ll also discuss the dangers of having too much personal information online and ways to protect yourself.
Finally, we’ll provide tips for keeping your personal information safe online.
Remove Your Personal Details From Google Searches
There are many reasons you might want to remove your personal details from Google searches.
Maybe you’re applying for a new job and don’t want your new boss learning about a past termination. Or perhaps you’re concerned about identity theft and want to make it harder for criminals to find your personal information.
Whatever the reason, there are several ways you can remove your personal details from Google searches:
- Contact the website where your personal information appears and ask them to remove it.
- Use a search results engine that doesn’t track users, such as DuckDuckGo or StartPage.
- Use a VPN to hide your IP address, such as Surshark or NordVPN.
- Install a privacy extension for your browsers, such as Privacy Badger or Disconnect.
- Delete your Google search history regularly.
- Create a dummy email account and use that instead of your real email address when signing up for websites.
- Use a different name and birthdate when creating your Google account.
- Make your Google profile private.
- Send requests to Google to automatically get rid of any outdated information that still lingers online.
Whichever method you choose, follow the instructions carefully and thoroughly. If you make a mistake, removing your personal information from the internet could take longer. And if you’re not sure how to do something, ask for help.
Review Your Browser Privacy Controls
Your browser is your first line of defense. By taking a few simple steps to review and adjust your browser privacy settings, you can permanently remove your details from the internet and prevent the addition of any.
To get started:
- Open your web browser and click on the menu button in the top right corner.
- Select “Settings” or “Preferences.” Depending on your browser, you may see a variety of different tabs or options – for example, “Privacy,” “Security,” “History,“ and “Cookies.“
- These tabs contain different settings that control how much information your browser stores about your browsing history and activities.
- Start by taking a look at the “Privacy” tab, and specifically the “History” and “Location” settings.
- “History” setting controls how much information your browser stores about the websites you’ve visited. By default, most browsers will store the website address (URL), the date and time of your visit, and a brief description of the site. To delete this information, uncheck the box next to “Remember history.“
- “Location” setting controls whether or not your browser shares your physical location with websites. By default, most browsers will share your location if you allow it. To disable this feature, uncheck the box next to “Enable Location.“
- Once you’ve adjusted these settings, click “OK” or “Apply.”
Again, keep in mind that each browser is different, so you may need to adjust different settings depending on the one you’re using.
If you’d like to take further steps to protect your privacy, consider using private browsing or incognito mode. Private browsing mode will keep your browsing history and activities hidden from other people who use your computer.
This also includes your internet service provider. Incognito mode will keep them hidden from the websites you visit.
To enable private browsing or incognito mode:
- Open your browser and click on the menu button.
- Select “New Incognito Window” (Chrome) or “Private Browsing” (Firefox).
With these simple changes to your browsing habits, you can permanently remove your personal information from the internet.
Furthermore, by browsing privately, you limit the amount of information being shared in the first place.
Remember to regularly review your browser privacy settings, as they may change over time.
Delete Your Online Accounts
It’s no secret that the internet is a treasure trove of personal information, from your addresses and contact details to your credit card information and even your Social Security number.
There’s a lot of sensitive data available online. If you’re not careful, anyone can access it.
One way to protect your personal information is to delete your online accounts. This may seem like an extreme measure, but if you no longer use an account or trust the company, deleting it is a good idea.
Here are some tips on how to delete your online accounts:
Delete Your Email Accounts
The first step is to delete your email accounts. This includes all the email providers you use, such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo.
To delete an email account, go to the provider’s website and sign in before following the instructions depending on the email provider you’re using.
|EXAMPLE: HOW TO DELETE A GMAIL ACCOUNT|
Delete Your Social Media Accounts
Next, you need to delete your social media accounts. This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media platforms you use.
To delete a social media account, go to the platform’s website and sign in.
Once you’re signed in, look for a link that says something like “Settings” or “Manage Account.” Click on this link and follow the instructions to get rid of your account permanently.
Be very wary of Facebook, as the company is known for data breaches.
|EXAMPLE: HOW TO DELETE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT|
Delete Your Online Shopping Accounts
Finally, you also have to delete your online shopping accounts. This includes Amazon, eBay, and any other online retailers you frequently use.
To delete an online shopping account, go to the retailer’s website and sign in. Once you’re signed in, look for “My Account” or “Account Settings.” Click on this link and follow the instructions to delete your account.
If you’re not sure how to delete any social media account, visit the provider’s website and look for instructions.
Additionally, when you’re done deleting your accounts, clear your browser history and cookies. This will ensure that no one can access your personal information by using your computer.
|EXAMPLE: HOW TO CLOSE AN AMAZON ACCOUNT|
Opt Out of Data Brokers
Opting out of data broker sites is the best thing you can do for your online privacy. Data brokers are companies that collect and sell information about consumers – including things like addresses, phone numbers, shopping habits, and even Social Security numbers.
The thing is, most people don’t know they exist. And even if you do know, it can be tricky to figure out how to opt-out.
But it’s definitely worth the effort to protect any sensitive information tied to your online banking, financial accounts, and other intimate details.
Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Go to the Opt-Out Prescreen website. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) operates this, allowing you to opt-out of being included in prescreened lists for credit and insurance offers.
- Scroll down to the bottom to click on a button labeled “CLICK HERE TO OPT-IN OR OPT-OUT.”
- You will then choose the option that fits your needs.
- You have to provide all the necessary information like your names, addresses, phone number, and the likes. You can then press the CONFIRM button at the end to complete the process. Note that it can take a few weeks to remove your information, so be patient.
Alternatively, You can also go to the websites of each data broker and follow the instructions to opt out or unsubscribe. Sending a removal request is also something you can try.
If you also want to remove your personal information from as many data brokers as possible, you can use the DeleteMe tool created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
The DeleteMe tool is a free online service that allows you to remove your personal information from more than 50 data broker websites. Enter your name and email address to use it, and the tool will do the rest.
All in all, if you’re serious about protecting your privacy, opt out of data brokers. It’s a good first step to taking back control of your personal information.
Delete Personal Blogs
While deleting a blog might seem like an extreme step, it can be very effective in removing your data from the internet.
By doing this, you’re essentially removing all of the posts and pages associated with your blog from search engines and other online databases.
Of course, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before deleting your blog.
First, make sure you have copies of any important information or content on your blog. Also, consider deleting your blog if it’s been inactive for a while, as this will make it less likely that someone will stumble across it.
Let’s take WordPress, for example. Here’s how you get rid of it permanently.
- Log in and open the settings page from the Dashboard.
- Navigate down to Tools and tap on it to open options. You’ll see a “Delete Site” option at the bottom.
- This will open another page with an option to export your content or delete the site right away. Scroll down to the Delete Site button.
- You then have to type in the WordPress blog name you want to delete. You have to enter a password to confirm the deletion. Your info will now be erased.
Uninstall Unused Apps
Uninstalling unused apps from your mobile device and computer is another effective way of limiting the amount of personal information available online, especially financial records.
You have no reason to keep an app you haven’t touched in months, and there’s a good reason for this.
Many apps collect data about you without your knowledge or consent. This data can include your name, address, phone number, email address, and even your credit card number.
By uninstalling these apps, you can minimize the amount of personal information accessible to third parties.
Clean Up All Browsers You Use
It’s important to take steps to clean up your personal information from the internet, regardless of which browsers you use.
All of them likely store some information about you, and it’s best to clear it out regularly to boost your internet security.
Here are the basic steps for clearing out personal information from Chrome, Firefox, and Safari:
- Open Chrome and click on the three lines in the top left corner of the window.
- Select “Settings” and then “Advanced.“
- Under “Privacy and Security,” click on “Clear Browsing Data.“
- Make sure that “Cookies and Other Site Data” and “Cached Images and Files” are both checked, then click on “CLEAR DATA.“
Open Firefox and click on the three lines in the top right corner of the window.
- Select “Settings” and then “Privacy and Security.“
- Under “History,” select “Use custom settings for history.“
- Make sure that “Accept cookies from sites” is unchecked, then click on “OK.“
- In the Firefox menu, select “History” and then “Clear Recent History.“
- Make sure that “Cookies” and “Cache” are both selected, then click on “OK.“
- Open Safari and select Preferences from the menu.
- Click on the Privacy tab.
- Under Block Cookies, make sure that It’s checked.
- Click on “Manage Website Data.“
- Select the websites from which you’d like to allow cookies.
- Click on “Done” you’ve selected your sites.
- In Safari, select History from the menu.
- Select “Clear History“ to complete the process.
You can also clear your browsing data in all browsers by using an extension like Privacy Badger or CleanMyMac X. These extensions will automatically clear out your personal information, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Be sure to do this regularly to keep your information safe and secure. Disabling your cookies is important.
Use VPNs, Private Browsers, and Search Engines
When removing your personal information from the internet, using a private browser and search engine is an excellent place to start.
Private browsers don’t keep track of your history or cookies, so they’re great for keeping your identity and personal information safe.
Search engines like DuckDuckGo don’t track your searches, so they’re also a good option for keeping your information confidential. This way, you can keep your personal data out of the hands of hackers and other online threats.
Additionally, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication whenever possible.
Strong passwords make it more difficult for hackers to access your accounts, and two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of identification before you can log in.
VPNs are another good option for keeping crucial personal information from the internet. They provide you with high-level security without any leaks.
This gives you the freedom to use the internet without worrying about vital data falling into the wrong hands.
Restrict Permissions You Allow on Smartphones
When it comes to our personal information, we’re often cautious about who we share it with. We might give our phone number or email address to a select few people and heavily consider what we post on social media.
However, sometimes our personal information ends up online without our knowledge or consent. This can happen when we download an app, for example, or when we sign up for a website.
Even if we try removing our personal information from the internet, it can be difficult to do so.
Fortunately, there are ways to restrict the permissions you allow on your smartphone, which can help keep your personal information safe.
Here are a few tips:
- Be selective about the apps you download. Only download apps from reputable sources, and read the reviews before downloading anything.
- Be careful about the information you share online. Don’t post your phone number, email address, or home address on public websites.
- Check your phone settings to see which permissions each app has. You might be surprised at how much information some apps can access.
- Restrict the permissions that certain apps can have. For example, you might not want an app to access your location or contacts.
- Delete old apps that you no longer use. These apps may still have access to your personal information, even if you no longer use them.
Opt Out of Marketing Associations
Another way to eliminate any information from the internet is by opting out of marketing associations.
Marketing associations and companies collect your personal information and sell it to other companies. By opting out of these organizations, you can limit the number of companies with your personal information.
To opt out of marketing associations, contact each organization directly. The process for opting out will vary depending on the organization.
But most likely, you’ll need to provide your name, address, email address, and any other relevant information to complete the process.
You can find a list of marketing associations and their contact information on the optoutprescreen website. This website also provides instructions on how to opt out of each organization and erase all the data from your public records.
Dangers of Oversharing Personal Information Online
The temptation to be seen all the time on social media platforms can be immense. However, moderating what you share and the regularity of doing it could help save you from a lot of online threats.
Your PC, phone, and tablet collect personal details all the time. Here are the dangers of sharing too much.
You Can Be Targeted for Identity Theft
When you share too much information online, you become a prime target for identity theft.
Thieves can use that information to piece together your full name, address, date of birth, social security number, medical and financial records, and more.
This makes it easy to commit fraud in your name or steal your identity completely.
Exposes You to Financial Loses
If thieves manage to get their hands on your personal information, they can use it to commit financial fraud.
This includes opening bank accounts or credit cards in your name, applying for loans, or even raiding your existing accounts. All of this can lead to significant financial losses for you.
It Can Damage Your Reputation
If you share too much information online, there’s a good chance it’ll eventually end up in the wrong hands.
This can lead to people finding sensitive details about your life that you may not want them to know. It can also damage your reputation if they spread or publish this information without your consent.
Harassment and Stalking
If someone has access to your personal information, they can use it to stalk or harass you. They might follow you around the internet, send you unwanted messages, or even show up at your house or work uninvited.
This can be extremely frightening and upsetting for victims of stalking or harassment.
You Could Be Targeted for Scams
Scammers can use your online information to target you with specific scam attacks. For example, they might send you an email that looks like it’s from a reputable company but is designed to steal your details.
They can also call you pretending to be from your bank or credit card company to try getting your account details.
Online exploitation is another danger of having too much personal info out there. This can involve posting photos of you without your consent, sharing private messages meant for only one person, or even creating fake social media profiles in your name.
These types of attacks can be very damaging and leave you feeling embarrassed, violated, or even suicidal.
Staying safe online is never a guarantee, and neither is getting rid of all your information completely. Every tip outlined here will help you to some extent, but the best defense is you.
You’re the only one with the power to add personal information online in the first place; if you can control that, then there’s very little for you to worry about.
The fact you’re here means you’re already past that. So keep in mind all the recommendations above and get yourself a good VPN to help you fortify your online security.
Check out our website for more security tips.