Every time you use the internet, even if you are just browsing websites, you end up leaving a bit of a digital footprint behind. And if you are doing things like posting personal information to social media or making purchases with your credit card online, you might even be exposing some details that you don’t want others to have easy access to.

While you can’t totally delete your online presence, particularly because there are public records that you can’t remove from the internet, there are ways that you can reduce your digital footprint so that you can get as close as possible to deleting it. Try the methods described below to get started.

Remove Your Information from Websites

There are websites, like people search websites, that are designed to make it easy to find someone’s contact information and other details like their background info. If you want to delete your digital footprint, contacting these sites to let them know that you want to have your data removed is a good first step.

Give it a try by going to Whitepages, typing your name, and seeing if any listings with your information appear. If they do, you can follow the Whitepages opt out instructions to request the removal of your info.

Another site that’s worth checking is Truth Finder, as it might also be showcasing your personal details for all to see. Thankfully, the Truth Finder opt out instructions are also pretty straightforward.

And, finally, we recommend also going to Been Verified, as this is yet another popular people search website that individuals can use to find information about you. Follow the Been Verified opt out directions to regain control over the info that’s out there about you.

Delete Your Social Media Accounts

Your social media accounts might be surprisingly easy to find, even if you don’t use your real name on your profiles. Imagine that someone is trying to locate you online and they know who your friends are. They might be able to go to your friends’ profiles and then look through their connections to find your profile. Therefore, if you want to delete your digital footprint, removing your social media accounts is another smart step you can take.

To delete your social media accounts, you will need to take some time to go to each one and follow the instructions. Just as you went to each people search site, you can go to each social media platform to request that your account be removed.

Delete Other Accounts You No Longer Need

There might be certain accounts, such as online banking accounts, that you will need to hold onto. But other types of accounts and subscriptions should be easy to remove when you are ready to reduce or delete your footprint online.

Think about online shopping accounts you opened up years ago, newsletters that you subscribed to, and forums that you joined. Go to each one and figure out how to move through the process of deleting the accounts that you no longer need.

With a good plan in place, you can move through the steps of removing your digital footprint from the internet. This can give you more control over the information that people can find on you, so if you are concerned about your privacy, the time and effort will be worthwhile.

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Vineet Maheshwari is a passionate blogger and relationship oriented digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC management, web analytics, domain investing, affiliate marketing and digital strategy. He has helped high tech brands connect with customers in an engaging manner, thereby ensuring that high quality leads are generated over time.