Want to erase yourself from the internet? Here’s how

Have you ever had such a terrible feeling that someone is watching you? I hate to break the bad news, but there are endless tech companies, advertisers, snoops, and enterprising hackers trying to get as much information out of you as possible.

If you want to get your privacy back, your first step is to turn off all intrusive GPS trackers and hidden maps that you can. Tap or click for eight buried settings you need to change now.

Now it’s time to see what’s out there. Sure, you can do a quick Google search for your name, but it won’t turn up everything floating around. Tap or click through for step-by-step instructions on digging up all the dirt other people can see when you look at them online.

It’s nearly impossible to completely remove yourself from the web, but you can pretty much eliminate it if you know where to start.

1. Facebook
The words “data collection” and Facebook go hand in hand. We know the social media giant follows you all over the web for years, and it’s not exactly careful with all of our personal information. This year, a breach exposed the information of more than 530 million users.

If you want to lock your profile, you need to navigate a handful of menus to catch everything. Tap or click here for 10 security and privacy settings you should change.

Once you delete your account, you have 30 days to log back in and restore the account if you change your mind. Keep in mind that you’ll also lose access to Facebook Messenger.

2. Instagram
This Facebook-owned social media platform is all about photos, and you better believe you are being analyzed if you have a public account. Even if yours is private, it’s hard to track who can see what you post unless you closely monitor your friends list.

One month after the day you hit the delete button, Instagram will delete your profile and account details. You won’t appear on Instagram at that time, and you can log back in before that date if you change your mind.

3. Twitter
If you’re looking to wipe out your online presence, don’t forget about Twitter. You may not have shared that much there, but it’s still a piece of the puzzle.

Deleting your Twitter account is easy.

Just like Facebook, Twitter waits 30 days before completely deleting your account. During this your personal information remains hidden from the public. If you log in, your account will be back in full.

As Twitter warns, even some deleted tweets can still show up in online searches.

4. Amazon
Amazon sells it all for great prices. Nevertheless, you may not want others to see the products you purchase on the Site, your biographical information, and the comments and ratings you leave on other Site interactions.

Your public profile doesn’t include shopping or browsing history, but there’s still a lot to gain from it.

Click on the various options to review. You can adjust the About Me section, shopping list, wish list, any pets you’ve added, and more. Also check out your Community Activity section.

5. Google
I’m sure you think, “Yeah, Google knows a lot about me.” But do you really know how much? Tap or click here to see all the data points about yourself that the search giant has listed. you’d be surprised.

Think about it. If you use Google for search, email, navigation, photo storage and watching videos on YouTube, the stream of data never ends.

The first step is erasing your search history and activity. You can also delete what you’ve told Google Assistant, block personalized ads, and clear your information with Google Chrome.

Each of these has its own set of steps. It won’t take too long, and it’s worth doing if you value your privacy. Tap or click here to delete what Google knows about you.

You can also blur pictures of your home on Google Street View. This way.

6. People search sites
These online databases are known by a few names: people search sites, people searcher sites, people search engines, background check sites… the list goes on.

They all work almost the same way. They scour publicly available social media profiles and public record sites to compile as much information as possible about you. Browse a few, and you’ll find out how much they know. The scariest part is that most of this information is free to anyone who decides to watch you.

How can you stop it? By law, these sites are required to delete your information if you make such a request. That doesn’t mean they make it easy.

CyberBackgroundChecks.com is a surprisingly accurate site. When I saw my profile, I was blown away.

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