It can be alarming to Google yourself and see that the results include data brokers displaying your address, age and family members. (Photo: Muharrem huner via Getty Images)
Once upon a time, it was possible to monitor what information about you was available online. But with widespread internet usage and the rise of various social media platforms, this information is not only accessible quickly, but harder to remove.
If you ever find yourself wondering whether you can erase yourself from the web, you are not alone. According to a 2022 research survey by NordVPN, 55% of Americans wish they could delete themselves from the internet, and another 42% fear that someone is going to hack them.
Wiping your private information from the internet is a difficult task, and there is rarely a guarantee that anything removed will stay offline permanently. But minimizing your digital footprint is possible.
According to Daniel Markusa digital privacy expert at NordVPN, you can take a number of steps to start wiping your personal information.
1. Google Yourself
The first step is to understand what information about you is out there. When you share something online, you give up control over that piece of data, so Google yourself to see what photos and personal information exists on the web.
According to Markusson, you can start by identifying any sites you’ve used that would host your data, including forums and websites you personally own. Perform a Google search for your information on sites that may have cloned or logged your