People have a lot of reasons for leaving the internet or deleting their online presence. Sometimes, relationships online turn sour. Your reputation could be taking a beating. You could be hiding from someone. Or you could simply want to keep yourself safer from identity theft and other nefarious hackers.

Whatever your reasons, here are the essential steps you need to take to disappear from the internet:

Step 1

Deactivate your active accounts.

Here are the steps to deactivating your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts, which are usually the most active things people have.

Facebook

  1. From your Facebook wall, go to Settings. It’s usually a gear-shaped icon at the top of the Facebook page or the downward arrow on the upper right corner.
  2. A “General Account Settings” page will open. At the bottom of the menu is “Manage your Account.” Click this.
  3. The link expands and at the bottom, you may click “Deactivate your Account.”
  4. Click “Deactivate.”
  5. Provide a reason for deactivation then confirm.

Twitter

  1. Sign in to twitter.com on the web.
  2. Go to your Account settings and click on Deactivate my account at the bottom of the page.
  3. Read the account deactivation information. Click Okay, fine, deactivate account.
  4. Enter your password when prompted and verify that you want to deactivate your account.

Instagram

  1. Go to the Delete Your Account page. If you’re not logged into Instagram on the web, you’ll be asked to log in first. You can’t delete your account from within the Instagram app.
  2. Select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you deleting your account? and re-enter your password. The option to permanently delete your account will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu.
  3. Click or tap Permanently delete my account.

Step 2

Unsubscribe from mailing lists.

If you’ve gotten a bit careless with giving out your email for free promos, you’ll have to go through a lot of sites. What you can do is go to your email messages and look for the “Unsubscribe” link in each mail. Click that and go through the steps for each site.

What’s good is that when you’ve done it once for one site, you don’t have to do it for all the other emails from the same web address.

Step 3

Search for yourself online.

Go to Google, Yahoo and other search engines and find mentions of you in their search results. The accounts you missed will come up as well as the ones you may be waiting to deactivate. Make sure that you take note of where you’re mentioned. Make a list if you can so you can check at the end of the process.

Step 4

Cancel your shopping and financial accounts.

Unless you need the banking accounts, consider removing yourself from these sites. Delete your accounts from shopping sites like Amazon.com and Carousell.

Step 5

Change the data in undeleteable accounts.

For sites that don’t allow you to delete your account, go ahead and fudge up the information there. Change your name, email, address and other data. If you need to supply a new email, go to 10minutemail and make something up just to confirm the change.

Step 5

Contact webmasters.

For accounts and websites that don’t allow you to delete your logins, contact the webmaster and ask in no uncertain terms to have your account deleted.

Step 6

Delete your email accounts.

This should be the last step since you’re waiting for word from webmasters if they’ve deactivated your accounts.

The internet never forgets, but you can make it pretty hard for anyone who would want to look for you to find you. Thanks to social media and all the online services that require logins, there is always a way to hack into your accounts, grab your information and wreak havoc in your life.

Hopefully, you can also ask your friends to delete photos of you from social media so people can’t get ahold of your likeness or image.

If you find this article useful, you may also be interested to find out how to read Facebook messages without being seen. 

Featured image provided by Shutterstock.