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How To Disappear From The Internet Forever

How To Disappear From The Internet Forever

The internet is all knowing these days. If you think about it, the amount of information out there about a person is actually pretty scary. The more social you are, the more easily someone interested in you can find out almost anything they’d like to know.

Even if you aren’t using social networking  accounts and forums you can still be leaving a digital trail. If this scares you a little, here are some tips to go off the grid. If not off the grid, at least can know what others can see when it comes to your digital comings and goings. We’ll also have some tips to clean up some of the info you aren’t cool with being out there.

Find out what’s out there

Search engines

The first task on the to-do list is to see what kind of information about you is out there. The first place you’ll want to look is a simple Google search. If you’ve never done this and are pretty active on the web, you will probably be a bit taken back by what comes up. There are a few searches you’ll want to do. Start off with your name. This may pull up any number of things especially if you have a common name. Try some variations, these can show different results.

    Follow that with your email address. Many online accounts use your email address in the login credentials. If you have a commonly used username, this would be another good Google search. A search for either of these may pull up all kinds of information ranging from pictures you’ve taken to online rants of you complaining about how much the new Facebook revision sucks.

    Background Checks

    Depending on your reason for wanting to disappear off the internet, it may cost a couple of dollars to see what pops up when someone runs a background check on you. Using a service like Intelius or US Search can cost about $20 -$40 dollars to run, but a search like this can pull up a lot of your history. Some of this history is your relatives, addresses and employers.

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      Stop using social networking sites

      Deleting all you can from your social accounts then cancelling them can be a good start at getting rid of your digital footprint. Some sites may not let you manually delete your account, but all the major social networks will let you delete your account in some way.

      Delete Facebook Account – This is the most thorough way to delete your account. Using this method can take up to a couple of weeks to finalize. The good news is this method deletes your whole account to the point you cannot restore it. Anything you were tagged in is no more.

        Delete Twitter Account – This link brings you to the settings page where you can choose to delete your account.

        Delete Google+ information – If you want to delete your association with Google+ you can delete all of your information through this link. Otherwise you need to get rid of your whole Google Account.

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        Delete Linkedin Account – Linkedin lets you delete your account but can keep your personal info. If you didn’t know this it is right in the User Agreement you thoroughly read. Here an excerpt from section 2 in the Linkedin User Agreement:

        License and warranty for your submissions to LinkedIn.

        You own the information you provide LinkedIn under this Agreement, and may request its deletion at any time, unless you have shared information or content with others and they have not deleted it, or it was copied or stored by other users. Additionally, you grant LinkedIn a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to us to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly to LinkedIn, including, but not limited to, any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques or data to the services, you submit to LinkedIn, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties. Any information you submit to us is at your own risk of loss as noted in Sections 2 and 3 of this Agreement.

        Those are the major accounts many people would be likely to have. If you need some ideas of other popular sites and how you would go about deleting them, here is a good site to check out.

        Delete other accounts

        Remember all of those email lists you signed up for to get their bribe? Well, it would be a good idea for you to keep an eye on your incoming emails to see who has your email address. You can unsubscribe from these (not a bad idea even if you are not trying to disappear for the web). Many of these may be tied to a service or web app you tried out a long time ago and forgot about.

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          If you can’t delete an account, you can always overwrite the data in the account with generic or fake info. Use Fake Name Generator to make a fake identity for an email address or an account. Using Fake Name Generator will give you A LOT of fake information to use to fill in all of those forms you are always asked to fill in. Preload all of this information into a form filling app and you will be all set to go.

          For example, Skype is one of those accounts you simply cannot delete. You can’t even change your Skype name once it is created. However, you can delete all of the personal info or change it to something else.

          Personal sites go bye bye

          Do you have any personal blogs or personal sites you set up to keep people informed on what’s going on with you? You know, something other than Facebook. If so, delete them. This also goes for anything you may have out there showing your portfolio. There are other ways you can show people samples of your work. If it is on the web and can be used to find or contact you, it has to come down.

          How you and others can “out” you

          Once you have a good majority of your Googleable (if thats a word) information and accounts deleted, you will want to make sure you or others are not doing anything to show searchers your whereabouts. Some of the common ways your location or other information can be found is by one of these common mistakes.

          No tags – You will want to make sure other people don’t tag you in pictures.

          GPS – TURN OFF THE GEOLOCATION AND GPS!  Digital images can have the location and other information embedded in them. If you or others take pictures of you, have them shut off the geolocation.

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            Don’t talk about you – Ask them not to mention you in their updates or online…. period.

            Personal information – Ask people not to post your personal information on the web. If someone is trying to find you, they may know who you associate with. You could be tracked by association.

            The main theme to all of this is, it’s a huge pain in the butt to delete yourself from the internet. Do what you can to get rid of your previous digital footprints and be a lot more careful about what you do in the future.

            Featured photo credit:  man shattered via Shutterstock

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            Last Updated on September 25, 2019

            7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

            7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

            Project management doesn’t need to be a complicated thing, not if you have apps that make things a whole lot simpler. When you have project management apps, you can take care of your team, tasks and deadlines, without even being in the office. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get most of the apps you might need.

            Here are the 7 best project management apps to super boost your team’s productivity:

            1. Basecamp

              It’s probably the most well-known project management app out there. It allows you to organize projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more.

              It is user-friendly, and has a free 30-day trial period. After that, the plan is $99 per month.

              Find out more about Basecamp here.

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              2. Asana

                If you are looking for something that is not difficult to use, check out Asana. This is a great task management app that can be used for managing projects as well.

                In a nutshell, Asana helps you create and share task lists with your team. The app is simple but smart enough and has got a lot of integrations. Teams with up to 15 members can use Asana for free. Teams with 15 members and up can choose plans that range from $10.99 per month.

                Find out more about Asana here.

                3. Casual

                  This is a unique app that offers a different way of doing things. On Casual, you plan your tasks just by drawing them as a flowchart. The neat thing is that Casual helps you visualize and track dependencies between tasks.

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                  This app is incredibly intuitive and works great for personal projects, as well as for organizing projects for small teams. You can try it for free, and if you don’t like it, there is no obligation to pay for anything.

                  Find out more about Casual here.

                  4. Trello

                    This app is incredibly user-friendly, and is based on Kanban boards. It actually works like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes.

                    Trello is great for organizing your to-do lists, ideas, and is very easy to use. You can create several boards to use for various projects, and it’s free of cost. Trello is available to iOS and Android users as well.

                    Find out more about Trello here.

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                    5. OmniPlan

                      This is an awesome app for iPhone and iPad users. If you love Gantt charts, this is definitely an app that you can get a lot out of.

                      You start out by creating a simple project outline. Then you can use the app to help you through every step of the project until its completion.

                      A standard plan for iOS costs just $99.99, and the pro plan is only $199.99.

                      Find out more about OmniPlan here.

                      6. Podio

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                        This is a great app for medium and large-sized teams working on projects. The special point about Podio is that there are additional features such as CRM and social intranet.

                        There are four different packages: Free, which is free for up to five employees and five external users; Basic, which is $9 per month per employee; Plus, which is $14 per month per employee, and Premium, which is $24 per month per employee.

                        Find out more about Podio here.

                        7. Microsoft Project

                          This is one of the most commonly-used project management apps. However, it is also one of the most difficult apps to use. It does have a lot of features that are popular with project managers, which is why we have chosen to include in on this list. You can customize reports, track burn rates, and stay on track until projects are complete.

                          The basic plan starts with $7 per month, which allows you project team members to collaborate in the cloud, via web browser or mobile.

                          Find out more about Microsoft Project here.

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