6 Ways to Delete Yourself From the Internet

source: wired.com | image by pexels.com

You’ll never be able to get a clean slate—but you can significantly downsize your digital footprint.

DEPENDING ON WHEN you were born, there’s a good chance you’ve spent either several decades online or have never known an offline world. Whatever the case, the internet and its advertising giants know a huge amount about your life.

Amazon, Facebook, and Google all have reams of data about you—including your likes and dislikes, health information and social connections—but they’re not the only ones. Countless murky data brokers that you’ve never heard of collect huge quantities of information about you and sell it on. This data is then used by other companies you’ve likely never heard of to nudge you into buying more stuff. On top of that, all your ancient web forum comments and ill-advised social media posts are still out there, waiting to turn you into a milkshake duck.

At this stage it’s going to be very difficult to completely delete yourself from the internet, but there are some steps you can take to remove a lot of it. Removing personal information and deleting accounts is a fiddly process, so it’s better to break it down into a few smaller steps and tackle them over time.

Opt Out From Data Brokers

Collecting and selling your data is big business. In 2019 the US state of Vermont passed a law requiring all companies buying and selling third-party personal information to register: In response, more than 120 firms logged their details. They included companies building search tools to look up individuals, firms handling location data, and those specializing in your health data. These companies collect everything from your name, address, and date of birth to your social security number, buying habits, and where you went to school and for how long.

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Meta alerts 50,000 users to targeting by

‘surveillance-for-hire’ companies

 

source: theverge.com  |  image from meta.com. | contributed by FAN, Stephen Page

The users, including journalists and human rights activists, were based in more than 100 countries around the world

Facebook’s parent company Meta has alerted 50,000 users of Facebook and Instagram that their accounts were spied on by commercial “surveillance-for-hire” schemes around the globe.

The users were targeted by seven entities and located in more than 100 countries, according to an update posted on Meta’s news page today.

Targets included journalists, dissidents, critics of authoritarian regimes, families of opposition, and human rights activists, the post said. The surveillance was uncovered in a monthslong investigation in which Meta identified spying groups and removed them from the platform.

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