It’s a very tough proposition to completely erase yourself from the internet. Think that you’re not on there because you don’t have Facebook? Well, read our article about Google location services… you’re on the internet!
So unless you’ve actually been off the grid “for real”, there’s a few things you can do. But be warned – you probably won’t achieve complete deletion and may find things limiting online. Here goes.
1. Pseudonyms (and lots of them)
Don’t have an email address like [email protected] – use an alias that is not identifiable, such as bluewhale05 or greencheese98
2. Use good passwords
Some of the most famous data breaches in history have all come down to poor password choices. Don’t use the same password for each site – check out Lastpass.com – and make the passwords difficult.
3. Don’t use mainstream providers
Don’t use gmail/yahoo/Hotmail/outlook. Protonmail is a worth alternative, but your emails are only encrypted between other Protonmail users – if you want to email a friend @gmail your email has to be unencrypted (unless you want to give everyone encryption keys… that’s not practical)
4. Don’t use social media
Yep, no more facebook, linkedin, Instagram etc. Also note that deleting your account won’t actually delete the content you’ve already uploaded.
5. Don’t let people post pictures of you on social media
Best of luck with that.
6. Create fake news
This is a fun one, where you pretty much create a bunch of fake news or ‘alternate facts’ about yourself. Don’t submit your real birthday to any site that demands it. Use a fake name and your anonymous email address.
7. Don’t let anyone get hacked
And here’s the doozy. At some point you will have to give a company your real details – and it might not be given online, such as an insurance/finance company or medical professional. If they get hacked, and your information is stolen then it’s out there forever. You have no control over that, but don’t fret – you never did anyway.
It’s best to start with the easy things if you want to disappear. Be anonymous where possible, use good passwords, stop entering online competitions and value your personal information.