You don't have to be watched online.
Not all of us enjoy the idea of high visibility online. There's something to be said for maintaining your personal privacy, especially if you want to limit your data's availability as much as possible. If you want to keep your name off the Internet, here's how to do it.
The First Rule of Internet Privacy
Here is the first, and really only, rule of internet privacy: If you decide to put it on the internet, it is not private. It's that simple. Don't post anything online you don't want the public to know. If you want to remove your name from the Internet, it's a matter of not putting things on the Internet.
Find Where Your Name is Mentioned, and Start Asking for it to be Removed
This is fairly straightforward: Run your name, and all variants of your name, through search engines and begin contacting the websites with your name on them. If it's a friend on Facebook, ask them to remove your name from the Internet. If it's a website posting a listing, use the site's contact form to request removal. Be aware that some sites make it very difficult to remove that information and you may have little recourse if they refuse.
If a Profile Can't be Removed, Blank Out as Much as You Can
If you can't delete a profile or an entry, but can edit it, go into your profile and remove as much data as possible. Deleting yourself from the Internet may not be 100% possible, but you can limit the information found.
Avoid Social Media and Facebook in Particular
If you value your privacy, you likely don't have a Facebook or other social media presence in the first place. However, if you do, it's time to delete it. This is for several reasons: So friends can't tag you in statuses or check you in to various locations, to rule out using Facebook Connect to log into websites which allows Facebook and marketing partners to track your activity on the internet, and to eventually erase your name from search engines and other parts of the Internet.
Be aware that many websites may choose to keep the data you've given them, even if you delete your account. Also be aware that Facebook goes to extraordinary lengths to keep you from deleting your profile entirely.
Staying invisible is relatively simple.
Use Web Services that Don't Require Identifying Information as Much as Possible
Fortunately, there are many places on the internet that don't care about your personal information. They just want you to use the service. While it may not be the most popular of services, you can easily find email on the internet that requires no identification and if you want to pay bills and do other errands online, you can set up a dummy email account where receipts and other mail can be sent, but you can't be reached. Just remember that keeping your name off the Internet will require a strong commitment, and may require you to do a lot more paperwork.
Give Out as Little Identifying Information as Possible for Sites You Must Use that Collect It
Keep in mind that most sites have required information, but you don't have to give them anything that isn't marked as such. Keeping your name off the Internet can be simple if you're careful with your information.
Keep in mind that there's only so much you can do on your own. If you want your name off the internet as much as possible, get in touch with ReputationDefender. Our privacy services will find and remove data about you from across the internet, looking in places you may not think of or may not be able to reach. If you don't want your personal information online, it doesn't have to be with ReputationDefender on your side.