How to remove your information from the internet

Removing your information from the internet can seem near impossible these days, with old social media accounts, data breaches, and those pesky data brokers who constantly collect and resell your information. But fear not, in this guide we’ll show you exactly how you can remove all of your information from the internet, as well as a privacy guide for managing your data going forward.

How to delete your data from the internet

The majority of your personal information that exists on the internet is on sites categorized as “data brokers.” Removing your information from these data brokers will remove the vast majority of your information from the internet. But the problem is there are hundreds of data brokers and new ones popping up every week. It would take months if not years to manually “opt out” from every single data broker, if you could even find them all.

Fortunately, there are also ‘data cleaners’ like, who crawl the web looking for your information, and delete it when they find it. These data cleaners monitor the web to prevent data brokers from relisting your information.

Once a data cleaner has found your exposed information, it will send an automatic opt-out request to that website, and your data will be removed within 90 days. The opt-out request must be honored, but some data brokers take longer than others. Some remove your information from their databases within 24 hours, while others wait up to 90 days or more.

Trying to do this process manually isn’t feasible because of the sheer volume of data brokers and how often they relist information. Signing up for an affordable data cleaner is a smart and effective way to remove your data from the internet.

Once your information has been removed from the web, you will start to notice fewer spam calls. This is because telemarketers, scammers, and advertisers all get your information from data brokers (with few exceptions). Once your data is removed, most of your spam will stop too.

How to control your data when browsing the internet

Use a private browser.

Every browser these days comes with an option to go private. That means your web history isn’t tracked and websites can’t install cookies on your browser and grab more data about you.

To activate your own private browser in Google Chrome, just click File then “New Incognito Window.” A new window will open and you can safely browse the web privately without worrying about invasive cookies being stored on your browser, tracking your every click.

If you’re using Firefox or Safari, click File, then “New Private Window.” This will open a new private window for you to safely browse the web with.

Use a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a cryptographically secured intermediary web server between your ip address at home, and any website you visit. Most websites track your IP address and location when you visit them. Using a VPN makes it impossible for these websites to track you. For example if you live in California, but you want to appear to be in Canada, you can do that.

This prevents any website from knowing who you are or where you’re browsing from. VPN’s are a great way to keep your information off the internet.

How to delete and manage your social media accounts

Inactive accounts

Another way your information gets onto the internet is via social media sites. If you’ve been using the internet for over a decade, there’s a good chance you have some old profiles on some websites that you completely forgot about. The problem is, these websites will pop up in search results when someone googles your name, so it’s best to find them and remove them.

A great way to find these old social media accounts is to login to your email accounts that you may have used over the years, and scroll through the emails looking for confirmation emails from these accounts. You’ll be surprised at how many old websites you forgot about, still have your information.

When you find an old account you don’t use, login and go to your settings. Find the “Delete Account” or “Close Account” option, and permanently remove this account. If you can’t find an option to close the account, then locate the “Contact Us” form or email, and contact the company letting them know you wish to close your account.

Active Accounts

If you have an active social media account, be sure to double check the privacy settings to make sure they are what you prefer. Bigger social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, have dozens of options in their privacy settings. Go through them and make sure you’re not sharing anything you don’t want to be public.

A lot of people have public social media accounts that expose their photos, email, phone number and more to everyone online and they don’t even know it. It’s worth going through once a year and double checking your privacy settings.

How to use government opt-out websites

Due to the dramatic increase in telemarketing in the 90’s, the government created This website is meant to remove you from any marketing lists so you stop receiving spam calls. The problem is that spammers don’t abide by it.

The website has very little to no effect, and certainly doesn’t help to remove your information from the internet, but it’s quick and easy to add your phone number. It’s worth putting your phone number on the list in case the government ever does crack down and force marketers to abide by it. But the chances of that are very slim.

Still, the best way to remove your information from the internet is to sign up for a data cleaner like