The year was a year of the IRS giving back, and of all people to give back to, they paid $4 billion to identity thieves, allowing information storing companies to continue to prosper under the government’s gaze, and even with its support. While citizens are losing their life savings to vandals, these vandals are remaining funded, and living large.
Steps to Erase Yourself from the Internet
The simplest way to wage this war is to remove yourself from the internet and lines of technology, making it more and more difficult for your personal information to be gathered, stored, and sold between companies. With nothing to copy, companies have nothing to sell, and you’re one step closer to a worry free life. Of course, this option isn’t available for everyone, but for those it is, it could be the answer, or even the opportunity for something as simple as a fresh start. The list of steps to take in this journey is long, but they’re all fairly simple, you should have your data internet-free in no time.
Delete your Accounts
Start by detecting your account. Any and all, wherever you placed them. It can be difficult to remember every account of yours, but checking old emails for account confirmation letters and the like can be helpful. A list of sites everyone should start with, because they cover a wide range of those people use, are:
- Facebook (How to delete Facebook Permanently)
- Twitter (How to delete your Twitter Account)
- LinkedIn (How to delete your Linkedin Account)
Disable Undeletable Accounts
In instances where you can’t delete your accounts, get as close to deactivating them as you can. Change your name, input a false email address, false information, etc., leading identity thieves to someone who doesn’t even exist.
Close Personal Sites of Yours
Shut down any sites you have running. Blogs, forums, company sites, etc. If you’re able, that is.
Ask Your Phone Company to Take you Off Online Listing
Call up your phone company and see if your address, identity, and number are listed at all online. If they are, ask that they be removed.
Cancel All Mailing Lists
Cancel mailing lists to any email addresses of yours by option out of every sight you’re a part of. Again, you may have to look at older emails to get all of them.
Delete Yourself from Search Engine Returns
Go through search engines and see where you’re name pops up, when searched. Take steps to remove these, including contacting the company yourself and asking it be taken down. Some commonly used search engines are
- White Pages
- US Search
- Yahoo People Search
- Zaba Search
- People Finder
Maintain a Polite Disposition
While calling your phone company and contacting the search engine providers listed above, and speaking to anyone else you need to, remember to always speak kindly and politely. People are often inclined to take these steps to aid people, but if you’re rude, irritable, or offensive, they’ll be much less so.
Consider hiring someone To Remove Any Information Left, or All of it
Companies exist to follow all these same steps, but they’re professionals as it, and follow these steps to a T. If you really need, or you don’t feel confident, you can hire them to take care of things, for you.
Cancel your Email Account
Whatever email accounts you’ve been going through to find your old information, delete them. This is close to the last step, now. Free emails can be simply deleted, but paid email companies must be contacted. Keep this in mind.
Clean your Computer
History, cookies, etc. Get rid of all of it, and move on.
Do your Best to Hide what you Can’t Remove
If you can’t remove it, you can’t remove it. The closest you can get is trying, and if it’s still there, you have to simply let it go. You can’t solve everything, and you’ve done what you can. More about this topic is addressed in the upcoming feature film Crow Hill.