You might protest that your online identity isn’t you. It has no body, no soul, and can be wildly misinterpreted. Your online history isn’t the person you truly are!
But it’s the way of the world: People Google you and form their own conclusions based on potentially erroneous information. Luckily, you can take steps to delete your Internet presence.
If you’re sick of worrying about the virtual you, it may be worth considering deleting your online identity.
Why you should consider deleting your online identity
Removing your personal information from Google as best you can is probably a good idea: Your online identity says a lot about you—sometimes too much. And anyone can say anything at all, true or not. So many people opt to erase their online identity altogether.
There are a number of other reasons for erasing your online identity, most of them related to privacy and security:
- To safeguard your identity and prevent identity theft.
- Increase your general privacy.
- You are being bullied or stalked online.
- Clean your online image as you are up for a political post.
- Put an end to all those targeted advertisements.
Of course, there are also less urgent reasons to delete your online identity:
- You want to enforce a break from excessive screentime. This is particularly common when it comes to social media.
- You no longer find those college Halloween party photos particularly flattering. And you certainly don’t want your kids to find them.
- You want to spend more time on self-improvement or learning new things that require time, dedication, and practice.
So: Are you wondering to yourself,” How to erase my online identity”?
We’ll go through how to delete your online presence step by step.
1. How to erase an email address
Many people have an old email address lying out there somewhere in digital oblivion. Even if you don’t use your old AOL account, it can still collect spam and other harmful digital material. And if you’re wondering how to delete your Internet presence, email account deletion is a good first step.
What you’re doing, ultimately, is deleting your old emails to prevent identity theft and other forms of fraud.
How to erase your email address varies by the service provider. In general, under something like a “Personal Information” or “Settings” page there’s an option to delete your account. Let’s go over an example.
i. How to delete a Gmail account
- Open this URL: https://myaccount.google.com/.
- From the menu on the left, select “Data and personalization.”
- Scroll until you find “Download, delete, or make a plan for your data.” Then click “Delete a service or your account.”
- Click “Delete a service.”
- Enter your password.
- Select the trash bin.
Deleting your email address isn’t really difficult, but it can require several steps and an eye for the little icons that litter websites.
2. How to delete social media
Social media is great for staying in touch with friends. But no one can deny that many people are rather nasty to each other. Plus those sites harbor, harvest and sell your personal data. If you didn’t like hearing that last sentence, social media deletion may be the way to go.
Have abandoned social media accounts, or active ones you want to get rid of? Here’s how.
(Information may have been updated, but as of publication this is the deletion info.)
i. How to delete your Facebook account
- Go to Settings and Privacy.
- Click Your Facebook Information.
- Click Deactivation and Deletion.
- Continue to Account Deletion.
- Enter your password.
- Click Continue.
- Click Delete Account.
It’ll take a few days for your deletion request to process.
ii. How to delete your Twitter account
- Click Settings and Privacy.
- Click Your Account.
- Select Deactivate Your Account.
- Choose either a 30-day or 12-month reactivation period.
- Click Deactivate and input your password.
After your desired reactivation period, Twitter will start to delete your account for good.
iii. How to delete your Instagram account
You can’t delete Instagram via the app. You need to log in on a computer to delete it. Many people choose to disable their account for a while and permanently delete it later.
- Click the person icon in the top right corner.
- Select Settings.
- At the bottom of the page, there’s a place to temporarily disable your account.
- To completely remove your account, use this URL: https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent. Enter your password on that page.
- Click Permanently Delete My Account.
iv. How to delete your TikTok account
- Click Profile on the bottom right of the app.
- Click the three-line symbol at the top right.
- Click Manage Account.
- Click Delete Account.
It takes about 30 days for TikTok to fully delete your account.
v. How to delete your Snapchat account
You’ll need to use a computer, rather than an app, to delete your Snapchat account.
- Visit this URL: https://accounts.snapchat.com/accounts/logincontinue=https://accounts.snapchat.com/accounts/delete_account
- Type in your username and password.
Your Snapchat account will then be deactivated for 30 days, after which point it will be permanently deleted.
3. How to delete your blogs & websites
People can go on at length on blogs and personal websites in ways they can’t on social media. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
To delete blogs and websites
Let’s go over the basics of website removal:
- Use a computer to open new Google Sites.
- Navigate to your site and click More.
- Click Remove.
- Empty your Google Drive trash.
Blog deletion is different from server to server. It will usually follow some version of the Settings—Manage Account—Delete Account format.
How to start fresh with a clean slate
Getting rid of your Internet presence can be just the thing you need if you’re worried about theft, defamation or just plain aggravation.
Ready to erase your online identity? IDShield can help make your online deletion experience easier. Head over to our website to view our total package of online reputation protection and security bundles.
Next, we’ll go into removing your information from the dark web.
Frequently asked questions
How do I get rid of my online identity?
To get rid of your online identity you’ll need to delete email addresses, social media accounts, blogs and personal websites.
How do I remove my personal information from the internet for free?
You can remove your personal information from the internet at no cost by following each website’s/social media page’s/email server’s account deletion protocol.
Can you erase your online presence?
You can erase certain parts of your online presence, more if you use a dark web server.
Can you erase your digital footprint?
You can largely erase your digital footprint by deleting email addresses and personal website/social media accounts.