Data brokers collect detailed information about who we are based on things like our online activity, real-world purchases, and public records. Together, it is enough to find out your political leanings or scrub yourself from internet even your state of health.
You can’t completely erase yourself from the Internet. There will always be a little bit of you left, whether it’s in data broker databases, old social media you forgot, or on the back of someone else’s vacation photos on Flickr. But here are some ways to get started.
If a web page has been updated by its owner but is not showing up in Google search results, you can use their tool to remove outdated content. Google will update your search results for pages that no longer exist.
Google will also consider requests to remove harmful content. If there are explicit non-consensual images, for example, or financial, medical, or national identification data, you can request that they be removed. To do so, you will need to submit a form and provide evidence of the content.
It’s also worth checking saved logins in your password manager or browser and searching your inbox for old subscriptions and online accounts.
In the future, choose not to allow sites to share your cases. If possible, ask the sites to delete your data. Avoid signing up for anything that could result in your information being shared.
Remember to use strong privacy settings for the top apps or devices you use regularly, and remove apps you don’t use or trust. Use end-to-end encrypted apps and disappearing messages when applicable.
By removing your personal information from Google searches or at least hiding the embarrassing stuff, you can scrub yourself from internet and win back a little bit of privacy from stalkers, an employer.