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How to Disappear Online
Posted on April 25th 2014
Despite online popularity, some people would rather have some sort of privacy when it comes to social media. There are millions of people fighting to have their social accounts advertised online; however, there is a small minority of people who would rather disappear online. If you are one of the few who want to go incognito, here is how you can do it.
1. Deactivate Accounts
When it comes to your social media accounts, you will need to deactivate them if you want to disappear online. To deactivate your Facebook account, you will need to go to your Account Settings -> Security ->Deactivate your Account. To deactivate your Twitter account, you will need to go your Account Settings -> Deactivate my Account (at the bottom of the page). To remove your Google+ and LinkedIn accounts from the web, see below for instructions.
2. Search Yourself
You might have an account that you forgot even existed on the likes of MySpace or Bebo. If this is the case, you may not find it unless you search your name online. Don’t just use Google to do this, there are various other search engines that you can use.
3. Use False Information for Accounts You Cannot Delete
There will always be some online accounts that are not completely deletable and can only be deactivated so be creative and use false information for these accounts. If you really don’t want to be found online, you will need to be creative and use a different name, place of birth and picture. DON’T steal someone else’s identity to do this.
4. Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists
It is important to make sure that all online accounts are deleted/deactivated however online marketing is more than social media, it includes email marketing too. Completely removing yourself from mailing lists will help you disappear online. You may also want to deleting your email address if it has any similarity to your name.
5. Remove Search Engine Results
To completely remove any URL’s that link to any profiles you don’t want readily available, Google has a URL removal tool which will help you delete results that return information about you.
6. Contact Webmasters
There will be sites that you won’t be able to remove yourself as you have no control over them so you will need to contact the webmaster for said site to remove your information. You may have a fight on your hands as some webmasters believe that public information should remain public but stay strong and fight your corner – you have a right to remove information about yourself online.
7. Be Prepared to Go Overboard
If you are serious about completely removing your whole online digital footprint, you will have to take drastic measures to do so. There are companies that track online data and sell it to other companies. Intelius, Spokeo and PeopleFinders are commonly used data clearinghouses to remove all online data about a person however, you need to be prepared to face the below.
8. Phone Companies
The last step is to make sure your name and number is not listed online by a phone company. You will need to find out who your phone provider is and make sure you are unlisted from any website they are associated with to end the journey of disappearing online.
Make sure you are 100% positive that you want to disappear online as once you do this, there is information you will never be able to retrieve.
See the full infographic here.