How to Remove Unwanted Personal Data from Online

How to Remove Unwanted Personal Data from Online
2 weeks ago

Every time you click on a website, sign up for something online, or purchase an item from your favourite clothing store, you are handing over your personal data. Remember that data is information and it’s highly valuable!

In most cases, your data will only be used legitimately by the relevant company. The companies you interact with online may store your data to provide personalised services and products in the future.

However, this is not always the case, and your data can end up in the wrong hands. This may occur due to a cybersecurity breach or illegitimate behaviour by the companies you have purchased from in the past.

Practising effective cybersecurity measures is important for minimising the risks associated with using the Internet. One of the most effective ways to enhance your cybersecurity is to remove as much of your personal data online as possible. Below, we’ve discussed how to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary online personal data.

Use a Data Removal Service

There are companies out there that specialise in removing people’s unwanted data. Such companies include DeleteMe, which provides a data removal service-as-a-software.

The DeleteMe platform can be used to reach out to data brokers both manually and automatically to request the removal of your personal data. By removing as much data as possible from the Internet using this type of service, you can minimise the risk of your personal details being leaked in a cybersecurity hack and used against you in the future.

You can contact companies directly if you wish for them to delete your personal data. However, this can take much longer than using a data removal service. You may also miss certain websites and accounts if you’ve forgotten you made them or have not used them for a while.

Delete Unused Social Media Profiles

Consider which social media platforms you no longer use or want and request the deletion of your accounts and all associated data with each platform directly. At the same time, review the social media accounts you use frequently and change the settings to private.

With private social media account settings, outsiders have limited access to your personal details and data, providing maximum online protection when using social media.

Use Google Removal Tools

Google has built-in data removal tools, such as the ‘Remove Outdated Content’ and the ‘Remove Personal Information from Google’ options. Using these features enables to to request the removal of old data or sensitive and confidential information about yourself from Google search results.

Secure Your Accounts

With every online account you create, it’s important to choose a strong password that is difficult to guess and turn on two-factor authentication (2FA), which creates an extra authentication step to access your account.

Regularly review your privacy settings, too. Many websites default their user’s privacy settings to ‘public’ when they do policy updates. Reviewing your accounts every few months ensures you can switch your settings back to private as soon as possible to maximise your security.

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