Security

Protect your identity by deleting your internet presence

It's tough-nearly impossible, in fact-to completely delete yourself from the internet. TechRepublic's Dan Patterson and Brandon Vigliarolo discussed things you can still do to protect yourself.

TechRepublic writers Dan Patterson and Brandon Vigliarolo spoke about reducing or eliminating your internet footprint. Minimizing the amount of data available about you, Vigliarolo said, is essential for preventing identity theft.

"The more information out there, the easier it is for someone to steal it," he said. It's easy for old accounts to be forgotten about and for personal information to find its way online. If you don't audit your presence on the internet you can quickly find yourself the victim of a cybercriminal.

SEE: What kinds of people fall prey to identity theft, phishing, and hacks? It's not who you think (TechRepublic)

Vigliarolo mentioned several websites that help internet users find and close forgotten accounts and remove themselves from mailing lists, such as JustDelete.me, Deseat.me, and Unroll.me. TechRepublic does not endorse these sites or verify their efficacy.

Vigliarolo also mentioned an easy way to prevent personally identifying information from being uncovered: It's as simple as putting in false birthdates, addresses, or phone numbers when signing up for services that don't really need that data.

You can view the entire gallery of tips on removing yourself from the internet, or download the PDF version, at TechRepublic.

Top three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. The more information about you that's on the internet, the easier it is for a cybercriminal to steal it. Minimizing your internet footprint is hard, but it's important.
  2. Eliminate old internet accounts by using online tools like JustDelete.me, Deseat.me, and Unroll.me.
  3. If you can't delete an account, or don't want to, you can get rid of personal info by putting in fake email addresses, physical addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers.

Also see:

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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