Removing yourself from the internet and social media sounds straightforward but is it?
Alan Crowetz, WPTV Tech Expert from InfoStream warns that it’s a one-way street. It’s a very big decision. Once removed, it is not easy to put back, if you realize you have made a mistake, so it’s a huge decision.
He went on to say that increasing numbers of people are trying to clean up their online presence. There are two schools of thought out there. There is the ‘I don’t care’ or the ‘I want to be 100 percent gone’. There is also something in between. There is reputation management.
As an example, people hoping to go into politics think about this a lot. Greenacres mayor, Joel Flores, teaches school kids about the risks of oversharing and overcasting. He says he sees this a lot in politics. Maybe you go out drinking with friends one night, and one of your friends takes a picture. That can be used against you further down the line.
First of all, start by finding out what is out there, recommends Alan Crowetz, but it’s a long process.
You need to do Google searches. You need to make lists of which sites you are on. Alan went on to say that, more and more, people are turning to dedicated sites for help providing shortcuts and which also rank things in order of difficulty of deleting from specific sites.
All of this can be done but as with everything, there are limitations. He said that the government doesn’t play by the same rules. If they consider there is a right for them to keep certain information on their website, whether it be through a Sheriff’s office or some other similar means, they certainly are not going to be allowing you to take it away.
Then, of course, you might be tempted to totally remove yourself from social media and from online but, be warned, it is equally suspicious if there is absolutely no trace of you.
Alan put it this way: If a search reveals absolutely nothing about the person, people are going to wonder why, and the answer can only be one of two things. Either that person has something to hide, or they are professional and are quite legitimately, trying to keep a low profile. The problem is, we just don’t know which is true.
Then, there is yet another way to proceed, according to Alan, often referred to as the laundry pile approach.
You can merely bury the information about you, with yet more information, Alan said. Let’s imagine there are a few negative things that pop up on the first few pages of Google, all you need to do in this case, is to open up more social media accounts, and eventually, those negative items get pushed down to page 19, where no one ever finds it.