These days, privacy is increasingly becoming a rare commodity. Virtually all of your valuable information such as your phone number, email address, social security number, address, and even information about your family, is out there and accessible to both good and bad guys. Try searching for your reputation score on MyLife to see the number of companies claiming to have your personal information.
Companies like Whitepages premium, Radaris, Spokeo collect your personal information may want to know about you as much as possible so they can serve you ads that are particularly relevant to your preferences and demographics.
However, the bad guys want to steal from you. We read headlines of stories on bank fraud, identity theft, data breaches, and other privacy issues. So when you think of all the risks that go with having all your personal information out there, it is reasonable to want to delete yourself from the internet.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult to delete yourself completely from the internet. Since the mid-1990s, government agencies and courts have been uploading public records online, and those data are not going anywhere. While that is the case, you can still do something to reduce your digital footprint online.
In this article, we’ll discuss some essential privacy tips everyone should follow, how to keep your information safe on social media, and how to use Google to remove personal information.
Essential Privacy Tips Everyone Should Follow
- Apply Caution When Posting Anything Online
This is a known privacy tip that is often taken for granted. Many services today automatically transmit your personal information, hence you need to be careful about what you put out there. When signing up for a service or creating a profile, ensure you are providing only those information that is absolutely required. Consider being an imposter even, or using an alias when creating accounts so that your online activities won’t be connected to you. When setting up password security questions, use something that isn’t true and can’t be tied to you. If you are worried about remembering your answer, create accounts in your password managers for that.
- Be Careful Who You Share Your Social Security Number With
Before haring your social security number with anyone, make sure it’s going to be safe with them. If it’s not your bank, a company that needs to run a background check on you, a credit bureau, or other entities that have to report to the IRS, think twice! If it gets into the wrong hands, your identity can be stolen, and someone might take out credit cards and pile debt up in your name.
- Set up a Google Alert
A good way to monitor what is been said about you on the internet is to set up a Google alert for your name. You just have to tell Google what to look for, where to search, how often to search, and the email address it should use to notify you.
How to Keep Your Information Safe on Social Media
- Don’t Fill Out Your Profile
It’s going to be very easy for anyone to get your personal information if you share them on your social media profile. The United States is looking at banning Chinese social media apps including TikTok as it is accused of being a threat to national security because of their ties with China. Review your social media profile, and remove every personal detail if you really care about your privacy.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication
You can lock down your social media accounts with two-factor authentication. This means that you’ll need to enter a special code that the site sends to your phone when you log in with a new device or browser, or every time you try to log into your account, depending on the site. This works well to keep others from gaining access to your account.
- Keep Your Activities Private
Check out your social media platform to see how you can adjust your privacy settings. On Facebook, you can set your account such that only your friends can see what you are doing online. You can also do more privacy settings on Twitter, and others.
Using Google to Remove Personal Information
If you want to take down your personal information from the web, you need to contact the owner of the website where such personal information was posted. However, if the owner of the site won’t remove it, Google might remove some types of sensitive personal information that creates risks of financial fraud, identity theft, or other specific harm.
In conclusion, while deleting yourself completely from the internet is very time consuming, you can apply these tips to keep your activities on the web private. The best and fastest way to delete yourself from the internet is to hire an online reputation management company to assist you.