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Source: Unsplash (Philipp Katzenberger)

Here's How You Can Completely Disappear From the Internet

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Nov. 1 2021, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

The internet currently has an estimated 4.66 billion active users, according to Hootsuite. That means more than half of our world’s population is connected to the internet in some way. Although this virtual world has made unimaginable things possible, such as cryptocurrency or being able to purchase a vehicle and having it delivered to your residence, there are downsides to being a user. These lead to some people wanting to completely disappear from the internet.

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If you need an “internet cleanse,” or want to remove yourself from the digital world, there are a few things you’ll need to do.

How to remove yourself completely from the internet

how to disappear from the internet
Source: Unsplash (Martin Sanchez)

All online behavior is tracked by the digital footprints you leave behind. In fact, police reportedly used evidence collected from Facebook and Google to build cases against some of the individuals who participated in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Though some footprints are there to stay, you can stop leaving tracks by following these steps.

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1. Delete your social media accounts.

There are 4.2 billion people around the world who are actively using social media platforms. Social media websites can provide an in-depth look into a person’s life. Therefore, you might want to embark on your “mission to disappear from the internet” by deleting any content you published on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and any other platforms you may be subscribed to.

Once all of your content is deleted from each social media account, this means no more tagging or being tagged in photos, videos, or posts. The final step in removing your social media accounts from the internet is by deleting the actual account. Instagram allows you to delete your account from the Delete Your Account page once you're logged in.

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2. Unsubscribe from email lists.

Another way to remove yourself from the internet is by unsubscribing to companies that send both solicited and unsolicited emails. At the bottom of each message or newsletter you receive, there's an option to unsubscribe.

Source: Twitter
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3. Disassociate yourself from any other accounts your name is linked to.

To remove yourself completely from the internet, you’ll also want to delete accounts such as Skype or Zoom if you’re subscribed to them. To delete a Skype account, you’ll need to take things a step further by also deleting your Microsoft account. You might also want to delete any email accounts you created.

4. Shut down websites, blogs, or any other pages you’re affiliated with.

Perhaps you created a blog a while back or developed a website. If your name is tied to it, and in most cases it is, you’ll want to delete the content and your account. If your website was created using GoDaddy’s platform, you’ll need to first delete the website, then close out your account with the web hosting company.

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5. Search for yourself on the internet.

After all the steps outlined above are completed, you can conduct a name search using Google to determine if there's any trace of you left in the virtual world. If so, find out how you can get the content removed. Should your name appear in online public records, your options may be limited in terms of getting it removed.

Why do people want to disappear from the internet?

The internet is growing rapidly and some people might find themselves trapped in it through internet addiction. To overcome internet addiction, some might choose to disappear completely from the internet. Cyberbullying, another negative effect of the internet, can also make someone want to detach from it.

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