How to Delete Yourself from the Internet and Become a Digital Ghost

This is a Twitter thread originally published by @0xjones. We are archiving it so others can benefit.

1. Preliminary Requirements

Go through each email you can think of that you’ve used in the past 10 years. You’ll want to recover them if you’ve lost access, so that you can access other websites you may have signed up to using them.

2. Delete Old Accounts

Use the search function on your e-mail and look for phrases such as “Sign up” or “Welcome”. Recover account and login into each service that pops up (that you received a sign-up email) from.

Now look around the service for a delete account function, google around by searching [“delete account” + “service”]. If there isn’t one, google or look around for a support e-mail to request for them to delete your account.

For some services, you may want to purge all content and messages before you delete the account, as the account may be archived and a hacker or external entity may access this information at a later date. That’s something to bear in mind.

3. Search for Compromised Info

Now you should have a list of all your usernames and all the services, ranging from streaming services to e-mails. You need to use something called boolean searches to properly use Google to locate this info.

I’ll be using square brackets [] to denote normal quotations, as you will need to use the normal “” signs to perform these searches. You need to google your account name [“account_name”]. Sometimes maybe your account name + password like so: [“account” + “password”].

You should see possibly pastebin links or underground databases publicly accessible on the internet, or possibly leaked private information. This is normal. It happens to a lot of services. Note down what passwords/information was compromised.

Some database leaks are a bit more private and are still being shared/sold in private circles, but you can use this website to check if you’ve been compromised, so you can change your live information to be different.

4. Remove Yourself from Google

So now you’ve deleted your Facebook accounts, but when you google your name and location using boolean searches, there is cached information/links about yourself.

There is a solution for that, called the Google Console. You can request for them to delete/update their search engine (which usually takes months organically) to remove those cached results if you provide a link to each. Go through various google searches and do this.

5. Stop Google Tracking You

You should be disallowing Google to legally touch any of your data. Here you can go through each of Google’s services.

Protecting yourself against other services. Any other services you wish to use, you need to strip down the privacy settings to the absolute core. If you want to use Facebook, make sure you make it almost entirely private, so people can’t access private photos.

6. Delete Old E-mails

Now you’ve just access to your old e-mails, it’s time to delete them too. Delete any e-mails you no longer need access to. Do not delete e-mails you may need in the future. If you do need them, change security questions and password.

7. Secure Your Accounts

You should be regularly changing your passwords on services every 6 months. Why? Because hackers gain access to new databases daily and they’ll start using that information to brute force, or in the future, to personally attack you.

Do not use any passwords similar to each other. Hackers are smart. Especially when it’s a personal attack. They will easily combine your old passwords with your home address, or date of birth to accomplish finding your password to something they need.

Once they are in, some services will give them access to EVERYTHING and it’s damn near impossible to get them out after they are in. Good news is a lot of services are updating this, so that you can only have one session active at once. Before you never knew who was in.

8. Protect Your Internet Connection

You should be using a VPN when using the internet. Do not use a VPN when dealing with banking services or anything confidential, but do use it when publicly surfing the internet. Using DuckDuckGo, Brave or other privacy-focused web browsers in combination with this will help.

Use a VPN that has no logs. You need to make sure your VPN has had a PUBLIC audit to ensure that it has NO LOGS. This means that it has no record of what you have used their internet connection for. And when you use a VPN, it’s hard for your ISP to know either.

9. Use Burner Accounts

You should be using burner accounts on known intrusive services such as Google by using a fake name and information. This is LEGAL and you should do it to avoid having your information and data mined across services.

10. Delete Your Internet Content Regularly

You should be regularly deleting your tweets and old photos. This data can be used against you to cross-reference your accounts and find more personal information. Hackers will find a target and analyze them for months.

Hackers will use your old internet information to do some of this analyzing in retrospect to piece together who your social circle is to find a vulnerability. Anyone can be attacked. You just haven’t been a target yet. Defend yourself through prevention.

Use a service like Redact to help you delete your online content.

11. Opt-out of Background Checks

Basically all “background check” websites have a a way to opt out. A basic Google search for that company will give you the link. This is something that needs to be revisited as they aggregate data from the original sources like your voting records and USPS.

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