I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of seeing deeply personal and personally identifiable information about my family online. Despite everything I do to remove myself from the internet, every once in a while personal information like my home address or a photo that I’m sure is set to private is exposed.
There is hope to get your personal information from the internet
With so much 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 even scarier and harder to imagine is having someone show up at your residence or workplace after researching your first and last name to find the exact address.
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How to clean yourself from the internet
While it’s nearly impossible to delete all of your data online, it’s important to understand what data is on you, then figure out a manageable strategy to take the most impactful data offline and prevent future leaks.
The main culprit in spreading your personal information online are data broker sites known as “People Search” which allow you to enter any person’s name and receive their contact information such as phone numbers and phone numbers, often for just a few dollars. addresses; age; date of birth, work history, etc. there is WebFX reported Over 4,000 data broker sites collecting data on over 500 million consumers.
Acxiom, one of the largest data brokers, is said to have 3,000 data points collected for every American and profits from selling them to the highest bidder.
How much personal and confidential information is collected and sold may make you feel ready to give up before you even get started. Dealing with deleting the private details of your life not only affects your privacy but is also crucial for your security. Below are strategic ways to effectively and efficiently reduce the amount of information about you being collected and sold around the world.
How much of your personal data is already out there?
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#1 Google Yourself
When was the last time you tried to look for yourself? Before you embark on a campaign to contact all the data broker sites, put on your private investigator hat to check which sites already have data about you online.
How easy it is to get started. Sign out of your Google account, then sign in to Google 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. Arguably the biggest search engine online, it’s the most likely source most snoops will use to gather information about you.
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#2 Make yourself unsearchable
There is massive data collection from companies and massive breaches of privacy by hackers. Leaving unnecessary personal information online creates the risk of a random stranger or potentially dangerous person arriving at your door. All it takes is collecting data found on Google and other search engines to make you a target.
Google and other search engines are constantly collecting and combining information about you. If you have a social media or website, you cannot completely prevent your name from appearing in search results. However, these are some basic ways to reduce the likelihood that your information will show up in a search for your name.
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How to change search engine settings for more privacy
Let’s focus on some easy steps on Google as it is the largest and most used search engine on the internet.
- 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 it “Account” icon
- click ‘Information and Privacy in the menu on the left
- Scroll down on the “Data and Privacy” page “Date Setting” options
- Under ‘Date Settings’, click ‘Web and App Activity’
- under ‘Action Control’, clickturn off’ so it will stop collecting data from your Google services and sites. Or, if you want to keep it, you can “turn on” auto-delete so that it periodically deletes this information. You can repeat these steps for your “YouTube History”.
How much of your personal data is already out there?
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#3 Invest in Removal Services (best result)
In addition to the many data broker sites that capture your data, the unfortunate truth is that many of these sites continue to collect information about you, both from public records and from online usage, even after they have previously deleted the data. It never stops.
Although it is possible to go to each site and manually request the deletion of your data, you would do it non-stop. 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 months later.
While no service promises to remove all of your data from the internet, these top services are great if you want to constantly monitor and automate the process of removing your data from hundreds of sites over a longer period of time.
The first time I tried it, everything I didn’t want to see about myself disappeared. Months later, he fell back into Google’s cracks. That’s when I learned that the most effective way is to subscribe to deletion services that constantly erase and delete personal data.
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Best option: OneRep
OneRep is my favorite app. It has a very clean interface and you will be amazed how much of your personal information will be revealed and eventually deleted. OneRep offers both monthly and annual plans for personal data deletion. At the time of publication, OneRep is scanning 191 websites.
OneRep starts at $8.33 per month for one person or $15 per month for your family (up to 6 people). Unlike the services below (both DeleteMe and Canary), OneRep offers a 5-day free trial.
Starting at $49.99 per month (calculated at $299.99 annually), BrandYourself will remove your public data from 35+ sites. While this company is more expensive than others, they offer a la carte features ($14.99 per year) to find out if your sensitive information is on the Dark Web, improve Google Results to control what people find when they find you on Google can ($44.99). /year) and helps clean up your social media profiles by detecting 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 deleting 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 removes 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. DeleteMe will investigate whether it can delete your data from that site. Although DeleteMe is similar to OneRep, its annual plan is more expensive.
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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson He is an award-winning tech journalist with a deep love for technology, equipment and gadgets that make life better, with his morning contributions to Fox News & FOX Business beginning on FOX & Friends. Have a technical question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy newsletter, share your voice, story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.
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