Deleting Yourself From the Internet

Is it possible to be active online and still maintain your privacy?–PC Pitstop.

Deleting Yourself From the Internet

by Natasha Stokes for Techlicious

Americans love the Internet, with 87% of us active online. We have accounts everywhere, letting us kill time at work on Facebook, check Twitter for the latest news, cruise Pinterest for inspirational moodboards and hit Amazon for great shopping deals. On top of that, most of us also have a pile of inactive accounts created for discounts or one-off purchases.

With our digital footprints expanding, we are relaying more personal data than ever to trackers, hackers and marketers with and without our consent. Are we sharing too much? Do we have the right not to be tracked? Is withdrawing from the Internet entirely to preserve your privacy even possible? Let’s go over each of these issues.

Data dangers
Creating profiles at sites you use regularly has many benefits such as ease of log-in and better suggestions for links or products you might like. But with growing concern over privacy terms that change at the drop of a hat, the sale of personal data by less scrupulous websites and the challenges of keeping stalker-y exes at bay, more and more Americans are deciding to reclaim and delete their personal data.

If you’re among the roughly 23% of Americans who use a single password for a handful of accounts, deleting inactive accounts is an important security measure. If a hacker cracked that password, you could suffer a domino-effect hacking of your other accounts too, especially if they are linked via a common email address.

Aside from the accounts and profiles we willingly create, our data is also exposed as hundreds of people search websites that comb police records, courthouse records and other public records such as real estate transactions, making our personal data publicly available to anyone who look for it. Deleting this data isn’t as easy you might expect — and many companies won’t remove your personal details fully.

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This excerpt appears with the permission of Techlicious.

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2 thoughts on “Deleting Yourself From the Internet

  1. The article forgets the Streisand Effect – the idea that trying to get something deleted online might actually make it come to peoples attention and get it even more there. The guy trying to get the information removed from google about his house being sold due to bankruptcy is a prime example of this

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