How to Purge Your Online Data

Once something unsavory about you appears on the internet, it’s there to stay, right? Not necessarily. There are ways to minimize damage even if you don’t get rid of everything that’s out there. We can see that many people are pretty unsure about the possibilities that can lead them to remove all the information about themselves they don’t really want anyone to see. This is, without a doubt, a source of many concerns for a wide array of different people from all over the world.

The issue of digital footprints can be quite ambiguous. Getting all of your online data removed may affect communication with prospective employers adversely. Use screening via a service like checkpeople to your advantage – it can help you see what information is available about you online.

How to Find Out


You can do a Google search or use a background check provider like the one mentioned above to find out what information about you has been published. Data brokers are sites dealing with data collection. They collect and sell data, usually for advertising purposes. Landlords and recruiters tend to make use of these sites to perform screenings on tenants and employees. Without any doubt, this is a highly effective way of learning about a particular person’s background and it makes it easy for a lot of people to make certain decisions. Surely, Google offers us a wide array of different information related to pretty much any person who has social media and other kinds of accounts all over the internet.

Get in Touch with the Websites


If you find something you don’t want online, get in touch with the respective website and ask them politely to have it removed. Explain that the information is outdated and irrelevant. The best option is to contract service to do this on your behalf because it’s a lot of work. Sometimes, the website might even ask you to fax them forms in a special format. Thankfully, pretty much every website has a “contact us” or “about us” segment, where you can see how you can inform the owners or managers of a particular site about your requirements.

If your efforts are successful, check at regular intervals whether the data has resurfaced. The ultimate goal is for you to stop appearing in Google searches. Getting your data removed from data brokers will make it far more difficult to find you. Therefore, you will lower the chances of someone else being able to dig up pretty much anything about you and your private life. So, contacting a website where you find the information related to you is surely the most effective method you can apply.

Eliminate Irrelevant Results


It happens all too often that we keep appearing on the staff page of previous employers. They assured us they had our information removed after we contacted them about it. A Google search of our name persistently leads us to the site, though. When we click on the link, the results that show up have nothing to do with us. You would be surprised to learn how common this is. It’s much more common than the majority of people are thinking, believe us.

The version of the old page has been cached on Google’s servers. Eventually, Google will eliminate the old, irrelevant, cached result as it updates its servers. But, that doesn’t mean that all the information is now completely gone from these sites. In fact, it can happen that some of this information can still be found by someone who’s pretty thorough and knows what he’s doing.

You need to submit a legal request to Google to delete your Social Security number, bank account number, or other vulnerable details. This is the step after sending Google an ordinary request, to which it doesn’t respond. It is the only viable approach to take, albeit a slow and cumbersome one. Even though this sounds like a pretty complex process, believe us, you will not have a lot of problems to contact Google and ask them politely to take care of it.

Delete or Deactivate Social Media Profiles


If you’re less than proud of some of your social media posts, it might not be enough to delete them. In addition, Amazon, Gap, and other retailers will maintain your account for a very long time. Your Reddit account might show up in a search as well. We all know that some older posts can arise from time to time, and frankly, to embarrass you. So, you should do anything you can to delete them, right?

If you want this digital footprint gone, go to the sites and look for an option to deactivate, remove, or close your account. Typically, these options are under Security or Privacy. It depends on the concrete account and profile. Change your data to something fake or random if deleting your account proves impossible. Naturally, this would mean that something else would be tied to you, but it beats false or outdated information, right?

Get Rid of Your Email


To get rid of your email account, you need to log in and then select “delete” or “close” account depending on what shows up. The steps you need to take differ based on the account type. Some platforms leave your account open for a very long time in case you choose to reactivate it. You need an email address to complete any steps. We can see that pretty much all of the people have a couple of emails. Naturally, some of them are quite old, and they have a lot of our personal information. So, it goes without saying that removing these is an absolute must. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to do this, and it will not take too much of your time.

Why is so Much Information About Me Public?


The internet has made custom advertising, timely shipping, easy payment, fast ordering, and many other things possible. We’ve offered our personal information in exchange for these services. Most people you ask won’t be able to tell you to whom and where they’ve disclosed their data or how much they’ve disclosed. The effort to purge your online data is not to be overlooked, but it is something that will definitely pay off. We leave too much of our personal data online, much more than we would like. It goes without saying that there are a lot of different reasons why we do that, like registering on certain websites, like forums, online shops, social media, etc.

The Bottom Line

We can see that many people are not aware of the fact that they are leaving so much of their personal data all over the internet. Many of them are surprised when some of this data emerges practically from nothing. Therefore, this should be taken care of before these problems arise. There are a couple of ways you can actually do that. So, here we’ve provided you with some of them and we think you’ll find them useful.

About Jeanette Iglesias