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How to delete personal information about myself on the Internet

It can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, if you find your personal information on the Internet and you want to remove it.

In most circumstances, when you post the information on the Internet, it is permanent, which means it is there to stay. Whether other people can have the potential to find your information is relied on how easy it is to find by using an online search engine.

How to delete personal information about myself on the Internet

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to remove your personal information completely from the websites. However, there are a number of steps given below through which you can limit your personal information and make it more difficult for other users to use your digital footprint for illegal activities, especially organizations that do not give any kind of benefit in exchange for your data and only harvest it for targeted advertising.

Removing personal website

If you have the authority to control the website where you found your personal information, in this case, you will be able to either delete the web page or website completely or remove the information from the web pages. Also, you can password secure the information if you don't want search engines to find the information but want to keep the information online. Alternatively, you can use a robots.txt file in order to tell the search engine that some or all of your site should not be indexed. On the other hand, keep in mind that search engines indexing your site are not compelled to obey the robots.txt file.

Remove personal information from Google

On the Internet, Google is the most powerful data aggregator. This is the reason you should never think about the time when you are deleting your personal information from Google's activity controls, which allow you to manage your browser history, app activity, as well as YouTube history, and ad targeting.

If you have successfully deleted your personal information from Google, and still it appears in cached Google search results, you can request that the cache be cleared, and the information be removed from the search engine by accessing your Google activity control.

Remove social networking site data

As you know, there are various social networking sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others. You can decide what personal information should be displayed to other users on these social networking sites. You can find these options in the Privacy settings of each service. Some of the information, on the other hand, maybe made public or may be made public in the future.

Removing information from someone else's website

If you cannot control any website and your information is on this type of website, you can try to have it removed with the help of contacting the site's webmaster or web host. They may eventually comply with your request in some situations.

Clean or delete old email accounts

Always make sure that you have cleaned or deleted old email accounts, as there are numerous reasons to remove old email accounts like Yahoo or AOL. Verizon now owns both of these services. In order to manage your options and opt-out of email scanning, you are required to access Verizon's privacy controls page if you want to keep your Yahoo or AOL email account.

Although Google confirmed in 2017 that targeted advertising would no longer be scanned in Gmail, numerous other free email providers continue to do so.

Try to use StartMail and ProtonMail if you want to more secure email provider that will not scan your messages and prioritizes privacy.

Removing link to a site from search engines

There are many search engines available that have policies that prevent links to sites from being removed on the basis of their information. When we talk about "remove," it means that the links have been removed from the index, but the information has remained online. Google, for instance, may remove connections to pages that have any of the personal information given below.

  • National identification numbers like the China Resident Identity Card, the Single Tax Identification Number in Argentina, the Korea Resident Registration Number, the Social Security number in the United States, and so on.
  • Bank account numbers.
  • Images of signatures.
  • Credit card numbers.

Restrict phone settings and permissions

If you are using a smartphone, its applications can leak data and track your activity; it doesn't matter whether you are using or not your phone applications. Give a few times in terms of going through your phone and deleting those apps that you are not using frequently. Examine the permissions of the apps you maintain and determine whether they are appropriate.

For instance, a food delivery application should have access to your location but not to your microphone. Moreover, you can quickly switch location tracking on and off if you just use the app rarely to order food.

When you download any program, it can usually expose you to a slew of privacy issues. Unfortunately, Internet firms frequently make it difficult to avoid downloading programs. For instance, without installing Facebook's invasive Messenger program, it can be difficult to send messages on a mobile device by using the Facebook app. If you don't have the Messenger app, go to your mobile browser's settings and request a desktop site, then access messages through the Facebook website, just like you would on a laptop.

When your phone's location data is not in use, turn it off. If you need to use location-based applications on your phone, it merely takes a few seconds to switch it on. Also, when your phone's Bluetooth is not in use, it is a good idea to turn it off. Despite your much effort, even if location tracking is disabled, Google and other digital corporations may be able to find your device. This is accomplished with the help of detecting when it is in close proximity to other devices or Bluetooth beacons.

Best practices to follow when posting information

On the Internet, as a best practice, always be aware of what you disclose to anyone or any company. If you don't want someone to distribute information about you throughout the Internet, don't say or type it on chat rooms or social networking sites. The greatest approach to keeping personal information private is to keep it private, which is to keep it to yourself. The Internet is enormous, and information travels quickly!

Take advantage of new data privacy laws

You may have more alternatives as compared to the rest of us if you have the opportunity to live in a country or state in the United States that has approved a thorough data privacy law. Consumers can opt out of the delete of their personal information upon request and sale it under privacy laws like the GDPR and CCPA. State privacy laws exist in the United States; however, their safeguards differ.

Continually remove personal information from the internet

For some people, minimizing a personal data mark may be tough, but it is a freeing exercise, similar to hauling a large pile of old clothes down to the thrift store or cleaning out an attic. You need to recognize that your personal data mark is a sophisticated network of links utilized to determine your preferences, dislikes, as well as behavioural patterns. Using these kinds of articles is the best solution to break up such connections, which make Internet use less intrusive and preventing others from misusing your personal information.

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