Can you erase yourself from the Internet?

Remember the days when you could go on a Job interview and your future boss would only know what you presented on your resume? Nowadays, because of our constant need to be connected, we are constantly leaving bits and pieces of our lives all over the Internet, often sharing things that might come back to haunt us. While many look over their shoulders and try to cover their tracks, we ask the question: can you erase yourself from the Internet? 

It has been estimated that almost half of hiring managers will do an internet check on prospective employees, and more than a few people have been known to lose a job consideration here and there because of their online footprint. Your online footprint can also have an impact on your personal life. Let’s face it, if you were to research a future blind date, only to find a string of sleazy blog posts, you might definitely think twice about meeting him or her in person. While it may be possible to become invisible, keep in mind that the more you have to hide the harder it will be to do so. You can always do it yourself by being proactive and removing provocative photos on social media and asking bloggers and friends to do the same. But not everyone will comply with your requests.

Even doing something as simple as deleting a Facebook profile can be nearly impossible. Even if you remove your own profile, all the comments you’ve made on other profiles remain.  One trick is to change your name to something completely different BEFORE you delete, so the comments can’t be traced back to you.

For information on the Internet that is beyond your control, such as documentation of a DUI, or the crazy ex who ruined your good name in that blog everybody reads, you need professional help. Removing your history on the Internet these days is big business. There many online reputation management companies that would be more than happy to help you--for a fee. Companies like charge thousands of dollars to hide negative Google results.  And even they can’t completely delete the bad stuff. Their job usually involves manipulating search engines by setting up fake websites to create links that favor a positive representation of a client. This will in turn bury the not so favorable content into the deepest pit of the Internet.

In short, “erasing” yourself from the Internet can become quite tedious depending how much you share. For many, it’s pretty much impossible. The best way control how you are presented on the Internet is to make sure you’re not doing or posting anything embarrassing in the first place. Think before you share.

About The Author:
Written by Fignola Alexandre the editors at Fueled, an agency that makes stunning iPhone apps

Image Source: English club

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