Books similar to How to Disappear: Erase your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish without A Trace
No right to be forgotten? Here's how to remove yourself from the internet and hide your identity
Want to move your data away from the digital world? Did an embarrassing moment go viral, or you provoked the wrong group on social media? Maybe recent news has you rethinking your online presence and wanting to take more control over your privacy. For example, if your information is on the dark web, taking it down may require law enforcement. Fortunately, however, there is a difference between complete internet erasure and becoming difficult to find. If you want to be harder to find online, you can minimize your exposure to the public eye.
Money woes are bad enough without adding to them. The first course of action against the proliferation of your personal data is deactivating your old or rarely-used user accounts. Shopping sites will sometimes require users to create accounts before they can complete their orders, and many sites convince people to create accounts by offering them single-use incentives such as coupon codes. And even if they choose to unsubscribe from the mailing lists, their accounts and the associated personal details remain untouched on the system. What you need to do is set aside some time to go through all your unused accounts and delete or at least deactivate them.
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How to Disappear from the Internet
There is now a very thin line, easily broken, which separates our physical and digital identities. Social networks have evolved from the days of MySpace to valuable, data-slurping machines that have information on everything from our friends and family to our voting habits. When you apply for a new job, many employers will try to find and evaluate your social media presence to ascertain if you are a suitable candidate. A misjudged tweet from years ago or an inappropriate Facebook photo can destroy future job prospects or ruin a career. A Google search that reveals an old conviction can make it more difficult to become hired, and -- whether true or not -- allegations of criminal conduct spread online can cause misery. There's an idea that once something is online, it is immortal, immutable, and almost impossible to contain. Another way of saying this is that you should not put anything online you wouldn't want your grandmother to see, in case the consequences damage you or your prospects down the line.
We are not talking about your required information, which you have submitted willingly at different online forums. Instead, the information includes all your online history. Even if you regularly delete your history and cache, your footprints are remaining in the online world. No matter how smart you are, you can never become anonymous online unless you make sure to erase digital footprint before going offline. Want to learn how to do it? Then read along!