Erase Digital Footprint: 10 Tips to Delete Yourself from the Internet
It’s hard to lead a life without using or accessing the internet. It has become an indispensable part of one’s life. But, at least we know that a bolt-on to our privacy and information security happens each time we access the internet because we leave digital footprints behind us.
A digital footprint is the unique set of traceable information stored by the internet or data-driven devices in layman’s language. They are two kinds: passive and active.
When used dexterously, tracking digital footprints can make one lose crucial information and money as they help hackers to dupe users. It’s shocking but true that nearly 33% of all colleges research one’s digital footprint.
It’s more concerning because internet crawlers will even create your digital footprints when someone else says something about you.
That is why one must learn about ‘how do I erase my digital footprint.’
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How to Remove Yourself from the Internet: 10 Steps
From the above text, it’s clear that leaving digital footprints can be the worst mistake of your life. Hence, to lead a peaceful life, deleting digital footprints is the only way out. But how is it possible? How to erase digital footprint?
Well, here are some of the most viable ways to do this job.
Option #1- Permanently Delete or Deactivate Social Networking Accounts, If Any
It’s hard to believe, but having a social media account increases the odds by 46%, but statistics say so. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a few leading social media networking sites with no abundance of personal information.
These websites are a goldmine for hackers. While creating a profile or account on these websites, one must provide many details.
So, if you want to delete your digital footprints, delete the social networking accounts. It’s not a tricky job. A few clicks there and here and a couple of consents are enough to get the job done.
Option #2- Bring Your Online Shopping Accounts To Death
Shopping sites like social media networking sites ask for a lot of personal information and make you vulnerable to online threats if the site mishandles this information.
We agree to the fact that online shopping is no less than bliss. But it’s also a threat to your personal information. So, be courageous and delete your profile from sites like Amazon, Alibaba, and many more.
It’s not as easy as it seems. You can reduce the risks by using only one account for various websites. Not every family member should own an account on an e-commerce website. If possible, make payments via cryptocurrencies as they are safe and don’t put your crucial personal information at stake.
Option #3- Call Out Deseat.me For Help
Confused or have no idea which all websites you’re registered to?
Well, Deseat.me is here to help you. Developed by a highly skilled Swedish developer duo, this web-based service will help you determine which websites you have an account of or from which you’ve deleted your information. Everything about this website is automated. All you need to do is provide access to the email account used for service registration. It will send emails on your behalf.
Option # 4- Remove Your Details from Notorious Data Collection Sites
You may not know it, but some websites have their essential purpose of collecting your data and selling it to others. If, by any chance, you’re on such websites, only God can save your personal information. You’re bound to face a brutal attack on your privacy.
Spokeo and White Pages are critical examples of such data collection websites. If you’ve any presence on any of such websites, forward a request to get yourself removed. Keep in mind that this will not be an easy job as the process is long and involves a lot of paperwork. But it’s a must-take step to protect your personal information.
Option #5- Take Down Your Personal Information From Google Websites
We know that the related services and websites of Google are of great use. But they also hoard your information unwillingly. One must remove your personal data to reduce or delete your digital presence. Contact Google and request them to remove whatever their affiliated websites save pieces of your personal information.
Option #6 – Delete Information Saved on Websites
Each time you visit a website, a part of your crucial information is saved over it. So, to vanish without a trace, delete all that information. Just inform the website about your will and let them handle the job.
Option #7 – Remove Outdated Search Results
Google is here to help you to delete search results that are no longer required or useful. To make this happen, one has to provide the URL you want to erase the information. They will update their server about it and take the request forward.
Option #8 – Remove Your Email Accounts
One of the sure-shot ways of ‘how to erase my digital footprint’ dilemma is to remove your email account, especially those you don’t use often. You’re handing over a massive pile of personal information with each email account registration. And if an account is not active or not used, there is no point in providing that information. So, take a deeper dig into this and detail unwanted email accounts.
Option #9 – Clean Your Browser’s History, Cache, Passwords, Payment Methods, and Saved Addresses Time to Time
Auto-saved passwords and details are a significant relief for regular internet users as one doesn’t have to enter the exact details again & again. But, this ease becomes a headache if someone accesses this information base. This is why it is wise to erase your digital footprints by deleting the saved addresses, cookies, and other details.
Option #10 – Take The Help of a VPN To browser Anonymously
While all the above methods are known to delete a person’s digital footprints, we, or anyone else, can’t commit to the success rate as the process is long and involves many steps. Sometimes, one doesn’t even get responses from the concerned website.
So, does it mean erasing digital footprint is not possible?
Well, that’s not true. How easy one’s life will become if one doesn’t leave a digital footprint in the first place? Yes, that’s true.
With the help of a VPN, one can browse as much as one wants or requires without leaving a single digital footprint.
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a piece of high-end technology designed to conceal or hide the original IP address of the user and prevent information logging.
Some of the high-end VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and many more adhere to a strict zero-log policy, which means no information will be stored on their server. This way, one can have ultimate peace of mind while accessing websites of their choice and required.
When there are no digital footprints, one doesn’t have to bother to delete them. Isn’t it great?
You Erased Your Digital Footprint: What is Next?
If you have succeeded in removing digital footprints, congratulations on doing a great job. Now, what’s next? Well, you don’t want to get into that mess once again. But you can’t even restrict yourself from accessing the internet as today’s era is the digital era.
Here are some of the critical protective measures to be taken to access the internet after deleting them to ease your worries about how to erase your digital footprint:
- Customize Privacy Settings
- Good Passwords
We all know it already, but still, let’s remind you. Keeping strong and complex passwords is a tried & tested way to maintain privacy invasion at bay. Never include birthdays, names, or anniversaries, which are known to many people, in a password.
Using incognito mode – while browsing the internet – is also a viable way to keep personal things hidden from the rest of the digital world. In this mode, websites do not save cookies. So, you’re safe.
- Use a VPN
Don’t underestimate the power of a VPN while browsing the internet, as this one tool can safeguard your information from multiple fronts. It can encrypt the data, prevent online tracking, hide the IP address, and ensure no logs are there in the digital world anymore.
In short, you can have a good night’s sleep after using a VPN. ExpressVPN is a great choice to make if comprehensive server coverage and high speed are your priority. NordVPN is famed for its latest and assorted security protocols; Surfshark is pocket-friendly and offers a couple of lucrative perks in the free trial as well.
- Avoid Unnecessary Posting or Attention-Seeker Behavior
When posting anything on social media, don’t use unwanted tags or make any comments that can bring unwanted attention.
By leaving digital footprints, you send open invites to hackers and online thugs, as they can use this information against you. This means you should be inquisitive to know about how to disappear: erase your digital footprint, leave false trails, and vanish without a trace. All the above-mentioned ways are going to help you a lot. But, the most viable and trusted one is using a VPN. It prevents leaving digital footprints and saves the efforts that one makes to erase the digital footprints.
Let VPNWelt warn you: to be completely secure on the internet, you will need the help of the best VPN service.
You probably don’t have time to learn all the details about VPN services, but you want to know which one is the best for you. Here are six trustworthy VPNs I can recommend to you, depending on the scope of use of each of them.
- Best VPN overall: NordVPN
- Best value for money: CyberGhost
- Cheapest annual subscription: PIA
- Best for streaming: Surfshark
- Best premium VPN: ExpressVPN
- Largest country selection: VeePN
For more information, see our picks for the best VPNs here.
Honestly speaking, digital footprints are saved for eternity the moment you browse. Even if you delete it, it is logged somewhere and is not traceable by the commoners. So, instead of focusing on erasing digital footprints, one must pay attention to creating one. Using VPN is a tried and tested method to make this happen.