It can be a challenge, but there are ways to remove personal information from the internet for free.

How to Remove Personal Information From the Internet for Free

Is it possible to remove personal information from the internet for free? 

 

The internet is both a glorious place and a villainous one. One can find limitless opportunities online. A person can completely remake themselves with new branding and new content. But there also are some pretty ugly things that can happen when you have personal information online.

 

This is why it is important to know how to remove personal information from the internet for free. Bad actors and even negligent people can take your information and cause severe personal and financial damages.

 

What happens when you put yourself online all depends upon what type of information you choose to share. Only, sometimes, you don’t get to choose. Sometimes the state and other individuals and businesses choose for you.

 

The following is a look at why that is and what you can do to remove personal information from the internet for free.

 

5 Reasons Why You Might Want to Remove Personal Information From Online

1. Identity theft is expensive

It does not matter how rich or poor you are, or how old or young you are. It also does not matter what your career looks like. Hackers and bad actors will steal your identity if they can get away with it.

Identity theft is when a person steals your personal information then uses that identity for their own benefit. They may take out loans and open credit cards in your name and therefore your responsibility to pay back. They may intercept your tax refund or create medical debt.

 

For some of this, all a sophisticated hacker needs to get started is your phone number and full name. Taking information offline can and will help you avoid identity theft.

 

2. Old posts and pictures can hurt

We all did dumb stuff as kids and teens. We were learning to interact with the world. Unfortunately, depending upon how old you are, some of those things you said or did may now get judged in some harsh lighting.

 

Those judgments may hurt your career, love, and other social prospects. Going back and removing that personal information is a wise idea.

 

3. Old records can damage your reputation

Did police arrest you for a crime or did you get accused of some other type of stigmatized activity? Information about it online can have negative repercussions. Online mugshots can hamper your ability to secure a job.

 

Online arrest information may make it harder to socialize and get started in a new city.

 

4. Prevent a robbery or other crime

One of the reasons why we hate bail bond websites is because they broadcast so much personal information out. Including near home addresses.

 

Add this information with seamlessly innocuous information like joining an out-of-town event or meet-up can make you the target of a robbery or other crime.

 

5. Protect from lawsuits 

Back to those social posts. If something happens like a dog attack on your property, the worst thing you can do is post about it online. Making personal information and reactions like this available online can lead to some serious legal repercussions.

 

Your enemies will track down messages and personal information to use against you if they can.

 

And sadly, you never know who may become your enemy. So don’t make it easy for anyone.

 

Keep personal information off the internet.

 

How to Remove Personal Information From the Internet for Free

1. Google Yourself & All Your Pseudonyms

Before you can remove personal information from the internet for free, first you must know where that information is. Thankfully, Google makes this step easy.

 

Start your internet removal by searching Google for your name. Use quotation marks to keep searches relevant to yourself only. You might also need to include your city if you have a popular name. Note every website that you come across.

 

And don’t forget to check the image results! Google Images may have photos tagged with your name that do not show up in the regular results. Write down everything!

 

Once you’re finished with your name, check all of your online pseudonyms. Search old forums you used to frequent.

 

This means any blog-like websites like Tumblr and Medium, YouTube accounts, etc. you might have posted on. Old online pseudonyms are not safe in that an internet sleuth who really wants to hurt you, can find your information out.

 

Anything you do not want your future partner, boss, friend, or family member to find out, you should consider getting removed from the internet.

 

2. Start Deleting Those Social Media & Gaming Accounts That You Can

Now that you have the list, it is time to start the process of remove personal information from the internet for free.

 

Start with all of the big ones that make it easy to deactivate and delete your accounts. Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, Flickr, etc. all push your information to the top of search engine results around your name.

 

But the good news is they also all have pretty easy and effective ways to take yourself off their platforms.

 

It is important to start with social media and gaming accounts first because these are the most common ways in which people will find you. And find information about you online.

 

hey also are the easiest ones for you to take control of on your end.

 

Are you on a dating site or social meeting website? Have you ever been to such a site?

 

If you have not checked recently, your information may still be up. These online dating and social profiles and subscription services are often linked to identifying information.

 

Information like email addresses, phone numbers, photos of you, and more. Thus, if you are looking to remove information about yourself to avoid things like identity theft, then don’t forget these websites! Tinder, Ashly Madison, MeetMe, and OkCupid are all open to hacking (Ashley Madison was in fact hacked and ruined many lives due to it).

 

Get your information removed and prevent yourself from being a target.

 

3. Don’t Forget Shopping & Payment Accounts

These ones are a bit tricky as you might not want to delete everything associated with them.

 

For example, Amazon and eBay can provide you with access to products you might not otherwise see in your area. However, these stores and other financial accounts do have negative sides. They often feature public versions of your profile to other users.

 

Payment accounts like PayPal and Venmo also store bank information that can cause financial harm. Information that can kickstart identity theft should hackers get ahold of them.

 

As such, it is a good idea to unlink stored payments wherever possible. But also consider how much of your personal information you want overall stored and viewable.

 

4. Go After the Sites You Don’t Control

Finally, but this is a very big one, there are the websites you do not control that have information about you. These websites may include news journals that printed your name in a story or running arrest blotter.

 

Or maybe they are websites that capitalized on your information following an arrest. This includes bail bonds websites and mugshot websites.

 

All of these types of sites are not ones that you personally have access to.

 

How much information do these sites feature?

The personal identifying information these websites hold can cause real financial and reputational harm. That’s because websites like bail bonds websites may include:

 

  • Full name and all pseudonyms
  • Address and location of arrest
  • Personal identifying information like height, weight, and even tattoos
  • All arrest charges, even those that get dismissed
  • And so much more

 

In many cases, you can request personal information removal for free from these websites. This is thanks to a flurry of laws in recent years.

 

To start, you will want to first look at your own local state laws. You can start, of course, with first emailing or submitting direct requests for personal information removal. But most of these websites will want more concrete information from you.

 

That’s because they make money off of your personal identity and arrest past. Thus, it is in their interest to keep your information up and online for as long as possible.

 

So act fast and act according to your laws.

 

If the courts dismissed charges or the jury ruled not guilty, get those records. Submit them with your request for information removal. Dismissed and not guilty verdicts should get removed without question.

 

If you weren’t found not guilty or charges not dismissed, then check your laws. Several states make it illegal for any website to only remove information for a fee.

 

So if a mugshot website promises to remove your information if you pay X fee, then you can legally retaliate.

 

In other states, all mugshot websites must remove information if you request it. No matter what.

 

Need Help With Those More Stubborn Websites? Contact the Professionals

As noted above, individuals have a lot of control in removing their information from the internet.

 

But there are some sites that are tricky. If you find yourself facing a stubborn webmaster, then consider calling in our team.

 

We have the experience and connections to get negative information about a person or business removed. We do so quickly and effectively.

 

Our team employs a number of other strategies to overcome types of negative content that are currently unremovable (such as negative review websites).

 

Contact our team today to learn more about these strategies and how to get your personal information removed from the internet.

 

Catch up on more news from RPI!

what is cyber safety

What Is Cyber Safety And How To Protect Your Online Information

October 15, 2021

In a world ridden with technological developments, it’s difficult to track where it all started and how it became what […]

Read More
ips for online reputation management

Online Reputation Management Tips For Newbies

September 12, 2021

Learning the ropes of great online reputation management can give you a whole lot of momentum in your life, profession, […]

Read More
Ripoff Report Removal

Ripoff Report Removal 2021

August 18, 2021

Ripoff Report removal can be very beneficial to a company that is currently dealing with a report that could be […]

Read More