At a time when Internet users have lost their anonymity once they have connected to the web, messaging or any other such applications, there may be some of you who would like to back down. But it is not always about where to start and how to go about it, especially if you are very talkative. In that case, here is a guide on how to erase all your traces on the World Wide Web.
Erase your traces on the internet, or almost
Obviously, it will not be possible to completely and permanently erase you from the Internet. Firstly because there are some sites for which it is impossible to unsubscribe (try on Steam or the online game League of Legends for example and you will see), secondly because you will probably not be able to find all the information and accounts created since you use a computer.
But somewhere, if you can't find them anymore, there's already a better chance that others won't find them too. For that, we will identify the first cases where you would be the most exposed and work in stages, so, follow the guide!
Delete social media accounts
The first thing to do (unless you are not using these services) is to delete your accounts on the various social networks. And there are: Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn to recite nobody else but them. And since these are the places where you're most likely to leave some parts of your privacy, it's good to start with that before tackling the rest.
To do this, here are the links that will be used to unsubscribe from the most popular sites, for others, you will have to do it yourself:
- Delete your Facebook account
- Delete your Google+ account
- Delete your Twitter account
Unsubscribe from websites
After having passed the stage of social networks, we will have to use great means. For this, different programs can make your job easier by grouping together different sites and you guiding to unsubscribe procedures. Here is a list to test urgently:
- Justdelete: a service that can also be used thanks to a Chrome extension, which once on a site, can redirect you to the unsubscribe page.
- AccountKiller: with a database of a few hundred sites, this service quickly allows you to find the sites on which you could have registered in order to delete your personal accounts.
The operations will be repetitive, and you will see that in many cases, it is faster to create an account than to delete it. In others, it will even be impossible to do so. This is where our next step can serve.
Submit requests to delete your data to the CNIL
This kind of process is free and will allow the Commission to intervene in a domain to assert your rights and put pressure on your data (accounts, photos, videos, etc.) to be deleted.
To file a complaint online, you have to go to the CNIL website and simply follow the instructions you are asked to do. Many mistakenly think that this kind of procedure is useless, but there are many organizations out there to protect your privacy, so it is their job, they are there for you.
And after all that?
If you still have doubts, what better than a few searches on the famous Google engine to see if you can still easily find your tracks. There is no shortage of examples for this. To keep it simple, you just have to enter your email addresses, the pseudonyms used to see if the results return certain content or other sites you have been on.
If you want to take things a step further, you can also use a few Google commands to narrow down your searches. For example, by typing the query firstname.lastname@example.org site: http: //lesite.com. You can replace the address by a nickname or a name / first name, and replace what is after “site:” by the address you want (just putting the address without the http: // www is sufficient).
So, you'll be able to force search only on one site at a time, and see if there are other things lying around. A little tedious method, but it is the minimum if you want to leave nothing.
For some time now, you have also been able to apply to Google for the right to be forgotten. The search engine is committed to removing all search results for a user at their request. You will need to fill out a few forms and justify your request. Everything will not be erased by simple request.
This is the end of this guide. We hope that you will have understood the essentials and that failing not to erase yourself completely from the internet, it will have at least allowed you to clean up your private life and the information that you have thrown around the web .
If you have any questions, points to clarify, or other tips to achieve your goals, please leave them in the comments. Otherwise, Was this guide helpful to you?