How can I erase all my previous presence on internet?

hermesalpha
hermesalpha used Ask the Experts™
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Is it possible to erase all my previous presence on internet? If not possible to 100 %, what percentage approximately would be possible to erase of all my previous presence on internet?
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Jason CarsonComputer Technician
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
That's almost impossible to answer.Some websites let you delete your account and posts, others do not. So it all depends on what websites you visit.

Commented:
You can delete your online accounts, remove yourself from data broker sites, shut down your email accounts and use virtual private network. (VPN)
This question will no doubt be indexed by Google at some point so that if you search for an exact phrase like "If not possible to 100 %, what percentage approximately" it will show in search results.

There is also the Wayback Machine (http://archive.org/web/) that archives web pages for a long time after they have vanished from existence.

Your Facebook profile image is also public even if your other images and posts have been made private and only available to friends, and where other people have shared your posts outwith facebook they may persist even after they are gone from facebook.

This is quite a good short article:
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2017/06/23/how-to-delete-yourself-from-the-internet/102890400/
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You can only change your identity and hide. The same identity lasts forever and can be found. I can find old posts from a couple of decades ago
AlanConsultant

Commented:
As above, the simple answer is, you can't.

As with all things, we have to accept the future consequences of the decisions we have made in the past, whether we understood those consequences at the time or not.

Consider that by 2009 I had deleted my FaceBook account as I was not comfortable with what they were doing, and I advised others to do the same.  Many of them ridiculed me (in the nicest possible way), and are now, in 2018, complaining about FaceBook, and the way 'their data' is being used.  Some people are just wilfully ignorant, and you can't help them.

I can also find things I posted in the nineties - 1997 is the oldest I have found I think.  There will be emails around from my Hotmail account (from when it was presented as HoTMaiL if I recall correctly - certainly before Microsoft bought them - I still have it as my primary, personal email account today) dating to 1997 too I think, stored in other peoples email archives.  I can also find stuff from the eighties that was published in physical media that is now online and may be forever.  C'est la vie.  

Even attempts to remove 'stuff' will leave a trail itself.


Alan.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
The short answer:  NOT.

then again you may be able to obfusciate information by updating profiles to sane but invalid values. Update passwords et. before deleteing the accounts.
Google & Facebook will NOT forget you after deleting the profile it will just not show again. And there is no reason why snapchat would delete info they have on you... (likes etc, visited images, friendlists).
I can find stuff about me when there were no FB, Google ... still from the Buletinboard era
Best bet:  use aliases, almost (but obviously not right) correct info etc.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Change your name by deed poll and get facial surgery ;-)
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
Ah, but Andy, there will be a judicial record of the name change, which will be available on the internet.  B)
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Be witness to a crime severe enough to need the  witness protection program..., still in computers..., possibly not online (for a while at least).

Author

Commented:
When I did a Google search of a friend a few years ago, Google came up with quite a few results. But when I did the same search today 4 pages turned up, all with exactly the same contents: very sparse information about his company name, address and his name. He is today almost completely anonymous. He has his own business.

Author

Commented:
Thanks everyone for good suggestions on how to make my previous presence on internet less visible. I'm quite impressed by my friend who have kept his online presence under control all the time during these years: First quite visible (but not so much), probably because he needed to get customers. Then just recently there is practically no information at all on him online.
Thank you hermesalpha

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