Disappearing act: 9 steps you need to take if you want to go offline... permanently

CINCINNATI - Having one of those days when you wish you could just disappear? Well, the London-based WhoIsHostingThis.com has provided an infographic that allows you to vanish--at least online.

If you want to completely erase any trace of yourself from the Internet, follow these nine steps. Of course, for those of you who don’t want to disappear entirely from the online world, you can select which steps to follow. 

Ready? Check these out:

  1. Deactivate primary accounts – Like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+, LinkedIn… any profiles you know exist.

  2. Search for yourself – Did you forget about that LiveJournal or Xanga account from back in the day? This will help you identify any social sites with your name on them.

  3. Falsify undeletable accounts – If there are some accounts that you aren’t able to delete for some reason, time to bust out that alter ego you’ve been playing for years: This might make you a bit queasy, because it involves filling in information blocks with a false name, an off-the-wall job, and fictional address.

  4. Unsubscribe from mailing lists – It’ll be tough to say bye-bye to your “joke of the day” emails, but if you want to disappear online, it’s time to find a new source of humor.

  5. Delete search engine results – In case you weren’t aware, you can actually request search engines to delete results that return info about you.

  6. Contact webmasters – On occasion, you’ll need to contact the webmaster directly to have your info scrubbed. Be patient, be polite, and be aware that some may argue that public information should remain public and may not honor your request.

  7. Consider data clearinghouses – To get your information out of the hands of companies that track your online behavior and sell that information, you may need to find a data clearinghouse like Spokeo or PeopleFinders.

  8. Contact your phone company – Ask your phone company to make your number unlisted online.

  9. Delete your email accounts – Make this the last step, as you may need your email address to request information or permanently close some accounts.

Finished? You should be a ghost to the online world! For more tips on how to execute each step, check out the infographic .

Would you ever want to delete yourself completely online? Planning on taking any of these steps? Before you engage in step one, Tweet me (@jennyfromthebak ) and let me know why you're just done with the online world!

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