Currently, the Internet is a tool that is part of our daily life in a way that is practically essential to carry out all our routines. We no longer use it only at home, on our desktop computer, but it accompanies us to all the places we go on our mobile phone or other mobile devices, such as tablets or laptops. It isn’t easy to give it up because it facilitates the simplest tasks in many ways. That is why we tell you how to erase your digital footprint.
How to erase your digital footprint?
Does anyone remember how I got to an unknown place without GPS? The ease of finding the phone of practically any place (hotels, restaurants, companies …) on your mobile? Or to be able to buy objects that are neither in our city, nor in our country, nor even on our continent? The Internet has opened up a wide range of new possibilities for us. But it doesn’t do it for free. This use of the tool supposes that we leave a trace (with all our data, tastes and preferences) that we do not know how they are going to be used.
It is very difficult to erase our trail on the Internet completely. Before starting this process, you have to take into account that it will take a long time, it may take several days or even weeks, depending on all the accounts you have open and the use you have made of the tool. Some new applications can make your task easier or even some professionals who can remove it for a fee, but many people prefer to do it themselves so that no one else handles their data, which takes more time.
Let’s start with the simple thing: delete email accounts. The one you have in use now is likely a Google account (Gmail), but remember, because you may have one from another provider, such as Hotmail or Yahoo, that you have not yet closed. In almost all accounts the process is the same:
- Go to the website where you have created an email.
- Sign in and head to settings.
- There you will find the option to close or delete your account.
If it doesn’t erase immediately, don’t worry, some take a few days because they keep it active in case you want to reactivate it with all the information it contains.
Delete information from the social networks
Who does not belong to a social network today? Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most widely used and known at the moment, but there are a large number of them. Many people also have profiles on other types of networks, such as those dedicated to finding a partner. If you want to disappear from all social networks, first make a list of all that you have registered to be able to go, one by one, deleting your profile.
In general, in all of them, there is an option within the configuration menu that can appear as deactivate, delete or close account. You just have to select, but there will be many that simply deactivate your profile and do not delete it completely, in case you want to activate it again later and not lose the information. If you cannot at least deactivate one of them or find problems closing it, you can also change your data to false ones and delete your publications, although it will take longer.
But social networks are probably not the only ones with an account or profile in your name. We assume that you have also used other services, such as shopping (in any online store, from Amazon to a small home delivery business, airline tickets, hotel reservations …), home search or work, or online appointment reservation (hospitals or restaurants). They are all associated with a profile or account that also has your data. Delete it, click on Settings, and find the option to close your account and delete it.
Delete my data from Google
In general, this point is the one that worries us the most since we do not like that our personal data may be available to any company that can use it to their advantage, not only our name, address or mobile phone, but also our tastes and preferences. This trace is more complicated to delete because you will have to contact the website or the company directly to remove our data from your files so that no one can use it.
Each website or business has a different way of proceeding. Some directly have a form or an email address on the page that allows you to request the deletion of that data. But in other cases, especially in those that are dedicated to selling personal information to other companies, the process can be longer because they may ask you to send some type of document or fax requesting the deletion of data. It will be a long procedure, but necessary if you want to erase your trace on the net permanently.