Have You Been Wondering How to Remove Yourself from the Internet?

photos via powayusd

photos via powayusd

Maybe this whole NSA debacle has you feeling a bit over-exposed, or maybe you’ve decided that no good can come from having your information “out there”; whatever. Removing yourself from the internet is a daunting task, but Gizmodo has just published a guide that will at least get you started. Can you guess what will have to go first?

Oh, I think you already know … all of your beloved social networks, starting with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Step by step instructions are included on removing yourself, but it can take up to a month (maybe more!) for your information to truly self-destruct.

The Giz article includes links for services that will let you know how to deactivate other online accounts you may have, including one for Knowem, which “finds sites that you may have forgotten about entirely by doing a username search on more that 500 popular social sites.” Actually, running a search through Knowem might be a good idea, even if you don’t plan on deleting yourself. You never know what you might have signed up for at some point, and it’s good to keep your online accounts under control and managed (as much as that is actually possible to do, natch).

Are you ready to get started? Check out How to Erase Yourself From the Internet. And if you have any other tips for removing your online presence, leave them in the comments below. Of course, that will only serve to continue that presence that you might (or might not) be trying so hard to erase!

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

3 Comments on "Have You Been Wondering How to Remove Yourself from the Internet?"

  1. I say it’s nearly impossible. Especially if you have any offenses even as mild as a traffic ticket. I am not sure how it is in ALL states, but in Ohio if you have ever committed an offense even as simple as a speeding ticket then ANYONE can find this information for free and online. I was on jury duty and we found the defendant guilty and that’s all there for anyone to see. Depending on what kind of offense it is you might have further troubles trying to get rid of that too.

    Even if you’ve not had a ticket or other offense, if you have purchased a house that too is also public record and you can find the record of the property here in Ohio.

    So removing from Facebook, Linked In, Google+, Twtter and other sites would only take care of a very small part of your life.

    The age of total privacy is nearly dead.

  2. If you truly want to be invisible, you need to have never entered into the system in the first place. Considering that birth, marriage, divorce and other life-event records are easily found online, and considering that (as you mentioned) property tax info, driver’s license info, voting info, etc are also easily available online, I think it’s safe to say that total privacy is impossible unless you can a. drop off the map after birth and never enter the system again, or b. change you identity (illegally, so there won’t be a record) and start fresh somewhere. =P

  3. And odds are, if you are trying that hard to make yourself invisible, by performing the very acts required to make oneself disappear would probably raise alerts with the NSA watchdogs, defeating the possibility of becoming invisible. And yes, I am wearing a tinfoil hat; it’s quite fetching I’m told.

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