Where to start: tips for deleting your digital footprint
• Start with an audit and list every site you’ve registered with or joined.
• Close down any old or unwanted blogs or personal sites.
• Unsubscribe from mailing lists.
• Close old webmail accounts.
• Remove yourself from unused sites, including unis, gaming and network.
• Remove yourself from any forums, chat sites or member websites.
• Delete photo albums from sites such as Flickr.
• Do an audit of sites you no longer use (shopping, banking, telcos) and request removal.
• Ask friends to remove photos, posts or mentions of you.
• Remove your internet history, cache and cookies from internet-connected devices.
Delete your web accounts
There are sites that give you links to account-delete settings for Groupon, Soundcloud, Yahoo, Evernote – the list goes on:
- AccountKiller.com rates how easy or difficult it is to remove your details from the site and has links to those sites’ account-deleting pages.
- justdelete.me rates the removal process for sites from easy to impossible, and has a short description of the process and a link to the delete tool.
- knowem.com will search for your username across 500 different sites, including Tumblr, YouTube and Etsy, and remind you about long-forgotten sites you might have registered with. You can search different usernames if you use more than one.
Nothing’s forgotten on the net
The Internet Archive
is an ongoing project to build a digital collection of websites, as well as text, images, audio, video and software, to prevent it being “lost”. The Way Back Machine
site, which is linked to the Internet Archive, shows you previous versions of websites. Check out what the CHOICE website looked like on 6 October 2001 as recorded by the Way Back Machine.