Being Tidy on the Net - Clean up your Presence

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by Mendacity, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Mendacity

    Mendacity A bipolar, bigender, bisexual icon.

    We all know life on the internet can be dangerous as hell, but not all of us know how to erase what presence we have or how to remain safe on the internet. There are a few approaches to this, and I'll be going over those along with giving resources for wiping your slate clean. As a note: Going completely invisible is not recommended by most experts, due to how much jobs depend on what your social media presence says these days.

    Method One: Needle in a Haystack
    This is my personal method of internet safety. There are a few tenets to make this work, but generally it's very effective.
    1. Don't bother with big drama publicly.
    2. Keep most of your personal information off of the internet if you can.
    3. Depend on the fact that there are so many people on the internet that you may never be targeted.
    This is based upon a very basic cryptological method: If your information is hidden within tons of other information, it's impossible to find exactly what is being looked for without knowing what to look for.

    This method is very basic, what most people use, and generally pretty safe to depend on. However, to do this effectively you may want to follow the next method before defaulting onto this one.

    Method Two: Near Invisibility
    This method can be a pain to upkeep, your information is being gathered by several companies all the time and making sure that none of it is posted online requires a lot of attention and know-how. This method is very much something that is very permanent in some regards, and can make it hard for you to get a job. Doing this and then recreating your online presence is a viable strategy.
    1. Do not post personal information of any kind online
    2. Delete as many accounts as you can (Facebook, twitter, youtube, linkedin, flickr, tumblr, paypal, gaming sites, Alma maters, craigslist, ect)
    3. If you do not delete them pull as much information off of them as possible.
    4. Remove information from Undeletable accounts and post misinformation on them
    5. Create a new e-mail and do not link the name of it to yourself at all
    6. Delete any personal sites (Including forum posts)
    7. Check with your phone company to make sure you're not listed online
    8. Cancel mailing lists
    9. Delete search engine returns that feature you (You can easily ungoogle yourself and contact other engines to do the same thing).
    10. If you're easily overwhelmed, find a professional company to remove your details from the internet. This includes deep web removal, be sure they have agreements with data source providers.
    11. Clean up your history , cookies, ect on your computer
    12. Accept that some things won't ever be removable.
    If this looks like a lot of work, it is. It's a pain to keep up with as well. Parts of this method are not bad to do for general use (deleting some social media accounts, watching what you put online, checking if your phone is listed, ect), however there are dangers with doing this. Information will always leak, especially if you're using phone apps and don't completely lock them down as well. This method, when followed to the T, can be very mentally strenuous and I would only recommend doing quick lookups on some of the more important things and approaching it more from the Method One style.

    Helpful Links!
    Gizmodo article on how to erase yourself from the internet - This article goes on a very basic rundown of how to delete the major Social Media accounts and how to clean up any scraps left behind.
    Gizmodo article on how to remove personal information from background check websites - This article talks about how to clear out a lot more in-depth information. These sites have a social media paper trail on you, and are what employers often use to judge people's social media by.
    Wikihow on how to delete yourself from the internet - I used this for a lot of reference (since my memory is shit) so I'm linking it. It's pretty helpful too. It is written more for method two and is very much a 'what to do if you have stalkers'.
    How to Clean up your online presence - This is more for how to clean up your online presence (still a very good thing to do, much less drastic than erasing it).
    How to do Deep Searches of People - This is useful if only because it shows you how people get your information, you can also use this to search yourself to help clean up after yourself online.
    Washington Post article for how to hide yourself online - This article was written after that one creepy geneology site showed up, it's particularly well written.

    The most useful of these links are the two gizmodo articles, the wikihow, and the washington post. All of them are useful, but those four are by far the best. Feel free to ask questions and I'm sure others have input on how to protect yourself online.
    • Informative x 8
  2. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    I disagree with the point 3 of method one - I actually think the user should always consider that there is someone out there that will take issue with you for some minor thing and then dig around for stuff. Always assume that there is a malicious asshole out there.

    Edit: offering myself as the example since most of my online life has already been analyzed (incompetently) by a malicious site. They were specifically looking for autistic people to ridicule. There was nothing in my posts or bio to give a reasonable person a reason to attack me. Yet I was attacked just for being me.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    • Like x 2
  3. GlassesBlu

    GlassesBlu Jaskier, you're ok :)

    Hey Thanks For This
    I got a big anxiety from seeing that lady's post and it's extremely awful and the dumb thing is most of my accounts anywhere is under my singular online name because I like documenting myself and knowing where I am but it is true that that can be taken and be used to destroy

    It's upsetting

    It's a tough decision
  4. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    I think that's why point three has a 'may' attached to it. For a lot of people, relying on the obscurity of a crowd can be enough-- usually because those people are part of a majority demographic that's inoffensive in the eyes of the people who will lead some kind of malicious campaign against them.

    But a lot isn't 'all'. And, flipside of considering that 'anyone may be out to get you at any time' is giving into paranoia and deleting your online presence every 2-3 years, ghosting all your friends and potentially leaving pseucide notes behind while you're at it. So you may never be targeted (thus making ghosting just sort of a dick thing to do) but here's some other stuff to reduce your net presence in the event that you are targeted, basically.
    • Agree x 2
  5. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    The idea of giving real names and info online is actually pretty new. Ancient Guardian says that "back in the old days" if you had a reason to know a person's info you got it through a secure (for the time) service like email - broadcasting it just wasn't done. It was Facebook that made it "normal" because they want to sell your info and it isn't valuable if it is anonymous, but places like MySpace and the defunct MSN Spaces were already encouraging it for marketing purposes. They didn't (and don't ) care about personal safety. The twit that made Facebook has said that personal safety is not his concern, it's up to the user to decide if they want to use the service or no. So if you want to use the service you have to give the world your personal info.
    It's a fucked up way of thinking, but it is what it is.
    • Agree x 3
  6. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    The hard part is figuring out if you is in that group or the one that some asshole thinks needs targeting :D

    EDIT: for example I didn't even know there was a website targeting autistics for ridicule. It never occurred to me that people would think that was worth doing.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  7. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how much I need to worry. Mockery I don't mind about so much but I don't want it to affect my livelihood or potential one.
    • Agree x 1
  8. context-free anon

    context-free anon Well-Known Member

    the fuck kind of jobs are affected by going completely invisible?
  9. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    A not insignificant number of employers nowadays won't believe you don't have an internet presence. It's a thing.
    • Agree x 2
  10. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    if you try all the free methods on the deep searches thing for yourself and don't find anything connecting your online identity to your real name, is it reasonable to assume that other people won't find anything either?
  11. context-free anon

    context-free anon Well-Known Member

    well those employers are dumb and you should avoid them on principle
    • Agree x 1
  12. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    i don't think avoiding employers on principle is a thing most people on kintsugi can afford to do.
    • Agree x 2
  13. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Probably depends who's looking. People like 4chan or the KF people who targeted Lissa are I think more likely to put effort into a doxx compared to angry Tumblr kids.
    • Informative x 1
  14. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    that makes sense. kintsugi seems to be literally invisible to the people search site that deep search thing recommended , after all, and so anything you can find on kintsugi isn't on it and other non-mainstream sites may be the same way to it.
  15. Alaspooralice

    Alaspooralice An actual trash fire

    I got curious to see if anything on me would come up on a Google search, and turns out there are a lot of doctors with my name, but I haven't found myself yet.

    Eta: the only thing that was actually me was my grandmother's obituary. My years of internet paranoia have succeeded, in that my legal name is not connected to my online shenanigans
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    • Winner x 1
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