I don’t know about you, but I am so sick and tired of seeing deeply personal and personally identifiable information about my family online. Despite everything I’ve done to remove myself from the internet, every now and then something personal comes up, like my home address or a photo I made sure was set to private.
There is hope that your personal information will be taken from the Internet
With so much of the information we share on social media and the internet in general, it’s not hard to imagine how much personal information others can find about you. What’s scarier and harder to imagine is someone showing up at your place of residence or work to find an exact address by Googling your first and last name.
How to clean yourself from the Internet
While it’s nearly impossible to clean up all your data online, it’s important to understand what data is available about you, then figure out a manageable strategy to take the most impactful data offline and prevent future leaks.
A major culprit in giving away your personal information on the internet are data broker sites known as “People Searches”, which allow you to enter anyone’s name, often for a few dollars, and get their phone number and contact information. addresses; age; date of birth, work history, etc. WebFX reported that there is Over 4,000 data broker sites collecting data on over 500 million consumers.
Acxiom, one of the largest data brokers, has 3,000 data points collected for every American that it profits from selling to the highest bidder.
How much personal and private information we collect and sell may make you feel ready to give up before you even begin. Understanding how to delete your personal data doesn’t just affect your privacy—it’s critical to your security. Below are strategic ways to effectively and efficiently reduce the amount of information about you that is collected and sold around the world.
How much of your personal data is already there?
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#1 Google yourself
When was the last time you tried to look for yourself? Before you start a campaign to reach out to all the data broker sites, put on your private detective hat to check which sites already have information about you online.
Here’s how easy it is to get started. Sign out of your Google Account, then sign in to Google yourself by searching for your first and last name on google.com. This is the most accurate way to see how the average user finds information about you through Google. Probably the biggest search engine online, it’s the most reliable source most snoops use to find information about you.
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#2 Make yourself unsearchable
There is a huge waste of data collection from companies and breach of privacy by hackers. Leaving unwanted personal information on the Internet creates the risk of a random stranger or potentially dangerous person reaching your doorstep. All you need to do is collect information found on Google and other search engines to target you.
Google and other search engines are constantly collecting and compiling information about you. If you have open social networks or websites, you cannot completely prevent your name from appearing in search results. However, these are the main ways to reduce the likelihood that your information will show up in searches for your name.
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How to change search engine settings for privacy
Let’s focus on some easy steps on Google as it is the largest and most used search engine online.
- Sign in to your Google Account on your desktop
- There should be a in the upper right corner of the page dial pad icon
- Click the icon for a drop-down menu
- click on “Account” icon
- press ‘Data and Privacy in the menu on the left
- Scroll down on the “Data and Privacy” page “Set Date” options
- Under “History Settings” click “Web and App Activity”
- underActivity management tools, press ‘turn off’ therefore, it stops collecting data from your Google services and sites. Or, if you want it to continue, you can “turn on” auto-delete so that it periodically deletes this data. You can repeat these steps for YouTube History.
How much of your personal data is already there?
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#3 Invest in Removal Services (Best Result)
Unfortunately, many of these sites will continue to collect information about you from public and online usage even after you delete your information. It never stops.
Although you can go to each site and manually request that your data be deleted, You would have done it endlessly. Unfortunately, there is little regulation when it comes to data brokers. Just because you delete your data from the internet doesn’t mean that data brokers will suddenly stop reselling it after a few months.
While no service promises to erase all of your data from the web, these top services are great if you want to continuously monitor and automate the process of removing your data from hundreds of sites over a long period of time.
The first time I tried it, everything I didn’t want to see about myself disappeared. A few months later, he slipped back into the cracks of Google. That’s when I learned that the most effective way is to subscribe to deletion services that permanently clean and delete personal data.
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Best choice: OneRep
OneRep is my favorite program. It has a very clean interface and you’ll be surprised how much of your personal information can be found and eventually deleted. OneRep offers monthly and annual plans to erase personal data. At the time of publication, OneRep is crawling 191 websites.
OneRep starts $8.33 per person per month in choosing his annual plan or $15 per month for your family (up to six people) on their annual plan. Unlike the services listed below (DeleteMe or Canary), OneRep offers a five-day free trial.
From $49.99 per month ($299.99 paid annually), BrandYourself removes your public data from over 35 sites. While this company is more expensive than others, they offer a la carte features to detect your private information on the Dark Web ($14.99/year), improve Google results to control how people find you on Google ( $44.99). /year) and helps clean up your social media profiles by finding and removing any flagged posts and images that may be costing you $14.99 per year.
Starting at $10.75 per month ($129 paid annually), the standard plan for one person for one year includes deletion of your data from over 30 data broker sites. In addition to receiving a detailed report within 7 days of registration, this annual service scans and deletes personal data from websites every three months. If you find your data on a data broker site that is not included in your service, you can submit a deletion request. Delete me it will check if it is able to remove your data from that site. Although DeleteMe is similar to OneRep, its annual plan is more expensive.
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