I don’t know about you, but I am so sick and tired of seeing very personal and idiosyncratic details about my family online. Despite everything I do to remove myself from the internet, the occasional private stuff pops up like my home address or a photo I made sure it was set to private.
There is hope to obtain your personal data from the Internet
With so much of our data shared on social media and online in general, it’s not hard to imagine how much personal data about you is available for others to find. But even scarier and harder to imagine is someone showing up at your place of residence or workplace after Googling your first and last name to find the exact address.
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How to clean yourself from the web
While it is almost impossible to clean all of your online data, it is important to understand what information is available about you and then figure out a manageable strategy for taking the most impactful information offline as well as preventing future leaks.
The primary offenders in divulging your personal information online are data broker sites known as “People Search”, which allow you to enter anyone’s name, often for a small fee, and receive their contact information such as phone numbers and addresses; age; Date of birth, employment date, etc. WebFX reported that there More than 4,000 data broker websites collect data on more than 500 million consumers.
One of the largest data brokers, Acxiom, is said to have a combined 3,000 data points per American profiting from its sale to the highest bidder.
The sheer amount of personal and private information being collected and sold can make you feel ready to give up before you even get started. Control over the removal of personal details from your life doesn’t just affect your privacy – it’s vital to your security. Here are strategic ways to efficiently and effectively reduce the amount of information harvested and sold around the world.
How much of your information is already there?
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#1 Google yourself
When was the last time you tried to find yourself? Before embarking on a campaign to get access to all data broker sites, put on your detective hat to check which sites already have information about you online.
Here’s how easy it is to get started. Sign out of your Google account and then Google yourself by searching for your first and last name on google.com. This is the most accurate way to find out how the average user finds information about you via Google. Arguably the largest search engine on the Internet, it is the most likely source most hackers would use to gather information about you.
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#2 Make yourself unapproachable
There is data collection from companies and a huge waste of privacy compromises by hackers. Leaving unnecessary personal details online runs the risk of a random stranger or potentially dangerous person arriving at your doorstep. All it takes is just the collection of information on Google and other search engines to make you a target.
Google and other search engines are constantly collecting and aggregating information about you. If you have a publicly available social media or website, you cannot completely prevent your name from appearing in search results. However, these are some of the main ways to reduce the likelihood that your information will show up when your name is searched.
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How to change search engine settings for more privacy
Let’s focus on some easy steps on Google as it is the largest and most used search engine on the internet.
- Sign in to your Google account on your desktop
- In the upper-right corner of the page, there should be a file contact pad icon
- Click the dropdown icon
- tap on “Account” code
- click Data privacy in the list on the left side
- On the Data & Privacy page, scroll down to File Date setting and options
- Under Registry Settings, clickWeb and app activity
- under ‘activity controls, click ‘turn it off’ So it will stop collecting information from your Google sites and services. Or if you’d rather keep it on, you can “turn on” auto-delete so that it deletes this information periodically. You can repeat these steps for YouTube History.
How much of your information is already there?
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#3 Invest in Removal Services (Best Outcome)
In addition to the huge number of data brokering sites attacking your data, the unfortunate truth is that many of these sites continue to collect information about you from public history and online usage even after the data has been previously removed. It never stops.
While you can go to each site and request that your information be removed manually, You do this nonstop. Unfortunately, there is little regulation when it comes to data brokers. Just because your data is removed from the web doesn’t mean that data brokers will suddenly stop reselling it again months from now.
While no service promises to remove all of your data from the Internet, these best services are great if you want to continuously monitor and automate the process of removing your information from hundreds of sites over a longer period of time.
The first time I tried one, everything I didn’t want to see about myself was gone. Months later, it’s back in the cracks of Google. This is when I learned that subscribing to removal services that constantly search for and remove private data is the most effective method.
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First choice: OneRep
OneRep is my favourite. It has a very clean interface, and you’ll be amazed at how much your private information can be detected and removed in the end. OneRep offers monthly and yearly plans to remove personal information. At the time of publication, OneRep was scanning 191 websites.
OneRep starts at $8.33 per month for one person on their monthly plan, or $15 per month for your family (up to 6 people) on their monthly plan. Unlike the services listed below (both DeleteMe or Kanary), OneRep offers a 5-day free trial.
Starting at $49.99 per month (billed annually at $299.99), BrandYourself will remove your exposed information from over 35 websites. While this company’s price is higher than others, it offers cart features to see if your sensitive information is on the dark web ($14.99 a year), and it can improve Google results to control what people find when they search for you ($44.99). US) / year) and helps you clean up your social media profiles by detecting and deleting any flagged posts and photos that may cost you chances ($14.99 per year).
Starting at $10.75 per month (billed annually at $129), the Standard plan for 1 person for one year includes removing your information from over 30 data brokerage websites. In addition to receiving a detailed report within 7 days of signing up, this annual service scans and removes personal information from websites every three months. If you find your information on a data broker site not listed on your service, you can submit a removal request. DeleteMe will check whether or not it is able to remove your data from this site. While DeleteMe is similar to OneRep, its annual plan is more expensive.
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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutson He is an award-winning technology journalist with a deep love for technology, gear, and gadgets that make life better through his contributions to Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Do you have a technical question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy newsletter, share your vote, story idea, or comment on CyberGuy.com.
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