google footprint

How to find and delete your digital footprint

Every day passes, and we are more connected to the internet. However, our understanding of the digital world is declining. It’s not only difficult to keep track of all the apps, services, google history, and email lists we allow to access our data, but it’s impossible to discover all the automated data scrapers that have our information without our permission.

While we generally get by just fine, there are times when something happens to remind us how dangerous it is to have all our personal information readily available: often a colossal security breach, data leak, and blackmail attempt. We are so quick to adopt new technologies that our anonymity is not protected.

What can you do if your data is being stored online? It’s hard enough to worry about your online data. But you can reduce its growth and take steps to minimize it. These are the steps.

Unused accounts can be deleted or deactivated.

Deactivating old accounts that are not being used is the first step to stop the spread of personal data. Sometimes shopping sites require customers to create an account before they can place orders. Many sites offer single-use incentives like coupon codes to encourage people to sign up.

One-time buyers may end up with inactive accounts that aren’t active anymore. This is because they don’t remember email marketing. Even if they unsubscribe, their accounts and associated personal information remain unchanged on the system.

You will need to take some time to review all of your accounts and deactivate or delete them. Most cases will allow you to locate the appropriate link within a section titled ‘Privacy or ‘Security. However, this can vary greatly. If you cannot find the correct link, you can use a Google search or the site’s internal search.

Some websites won’t let you delete or deactivate an account altogether. Sometimes it’s due to poor design, but in other cases, it’s because of indifference towards privacy. You can change your account details to gibberish if you already have one. Then, contact the site to request the deletion of your account.

Ask Data Brokers for Data Removal

Sites like Whitepages and PeopleFinder are examples of data brokers. They don’t store data to support other services. Instead, they store data for the sole purpose of selling it. It shouldn’t surprise that it will be challenging to get rid of. They don’t require you to opt in to store your data. Therefore, there is no easy way to opt-out and erase your data.

You will need to research and follow the procedures of a data broker if you wish to delete your data. You can ask them or send them signed paperwork. Even if you adhere to all requirements, they may ignore you. Also, check out this article

There are a few deletion options in this article. However, if you aren’t sure which path to take, grab the contact information of the data broker and send them an email explaining your request. They might be open to helping you if you are friendly.

Use targeted services or tools On Google.

You still have options if you feel that your data is too accessible online. However, you don’t have the time or the inclination to use the above steps. Companies began trading in data deletion services when the online privacy market grew sufficiently large.

DeleteMe will charge $129 per annum (it’s an exclusive US service) to search the internet and remove most of their digital footprint. This includes any posts, user accounts, or data brokers. It may be worthwhile for you if you are a US citizen. This depends on how much information you have, how often you use the internet, and whether other people are interested in your data. These sites will also help you,, and

You can also try to “correct” how you appear in search results. This involves influencing rankings and getting ahead of pages that you don’t like. BrandYourself tools are designed to help you with this. They will inform you about the risks of your online presence and give you strategies for building a solid reputation.

Be Cautious.

You can limit the visibility of data you share, whether you have already been affected by the online access to your personal information or are just concerned about what might happen. The threat will only get worse. Your activity and data are collected every time you use your smartphone to connect your car to the internet or browse sites like Facebook and YouTube. You don’t even know why.

There are many good reasons to collect data, such as enabling personalized that improves UX. However, it can be tough to feel secure. This is especially true when data collected for a legitimate reason could still be misused maliciously. Are you comfortable giving your data to every app that asks? You only need one app to expose all of your data or act in bad faith (or have poor security).

If an app or website asks you to give your information, verify why the data are needed and don’t provide it if the reason is not compelling. To place a single order on an e-commerce website, you will need to create an account. If they ask, either contact them directly or go elsewhere. 

Send Google Listing Removal Requests

You can try to get Google to delist personal data that you don’t know how to delete. Google has a stronghold over search engines, and people are unable to find specific pages without them. A page that is not listed in Google but remains active will lose most of its visits.

It will depend on how important the data is that you are trying to protect. Google, like the data brokers, doesn’t have any obligation to do anything. It’s worth trying to remove sensitive information, such as medical records or bank account information, as soon as you can.


These options are available to you. If you take the time to be extremely careful with your personal information, you can significantly reduce the chance that it will ever come back against you. Good luck!

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