Erasing Your Data from the Internet
Internet is among the best thing that has happened to humanity, but cool as it is, it too has severe problems – problems with security, problems with privacy, problems with identity and sometime the stuff associating to you.
In the movie ‘The Social Network‘, Erica Albright berates Mark Zuckerberg for making personal remarks about her on his blog and points out that the internet isn’t written with pencil, but ink. Well, technically that isn’t true either. But, yes we get the point – the lesson that we shouldn’t share things that might offend others. Today, the internet is thick with embarrassing stuff, as well as extra critical information like credit card and bank details. Sometimes it becomes incredibly obligatory to get those things and yourself off from it.
We use a lot of services such as Facebook, twitter, Google and while they have their own great usage, we share a lot of information to and with it. Sometimes these information are so critical that if misused can land us into trouble.
Let me ask you a simple question, when did you first start using the internet? How many services you have joined by now? Are you sure the things that you shared back then aren’t innocuous? No matter how steak pattern we follow, what email clients we use, and how good our memory is, we are humans and things are bound to go wrong.
Removing unwanted content and account
The other side of this story is, unless you have a compelling reason (in most cases), no matter which part of the world you reside and what your government data protection states, you just can’t ask some services to remove the infamy content from their servers and unlink its index. Some services such as Skype, WordPress, Ebuddy etc they just won’t let you delete your account at all. Folks on Facebook always confuse themselves with deletion and deactivation.
If you want to delete your Facebook account, deactivation isn’t what you are supposed to do. For removal of your account, this is the address where you knock at: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account
You can do the same with your Twitter account, but just so you know, it will take 30 days until they permanently remove it.
Presence in search results and websites
If you or your information happens to return in the Google Search result, you can visit their Webmaster Removal Tool and cite the link you are not comfortable with.
Social Searcher is a nice social networking savior service which can search into Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Myspace to reveal all your information without requiring to log in.
Banks are pretty well-mannered in this case, maybe because they hold too critical information such as bank account number and other credit card details. Online purchase stores like Amazon, Paypal, Ebay in some cases have the deletion option, but if you can’t find it, their customer support is rock solid and constantly happy to help. Things are even easier with file hosting and cloud storage services.
The most popular website in the world, Google, also holds your information, and because most of us use its email service, things start becoming more interconnected. Google analyzes and records your search hits, Al though they do it only to tailor your pattern and return relevant search results suiting your tastes. You can check the logged information, at Google Dashboard. You can also unwire everything of their record, and it is really easy. Log in to your Gmail account, and head to your account settings.
But, these aren’t the only websites where you might have had shown interest in the past. For help, you could use AccountKiller which indexes around 500 of the most popular websites, and instructs you how to delete your past records and even accounts.
If this much isn’t enough to help fix all your issues, and the stuff really needs to be wiped. Maybe you should meet the experts, companies such as Reputation.com claim to have more than 3000 corporate databases. But remember, providing one service information to get information removed from other service sounds tricky.