A savvy tech expert's Twitter thread on how one can delete practically their entire digital footprint has gone viral.
As the tweeter, Liam, put it himelf, the thread "went viral because the information is unmatched, accessible and [he] broke it down in layman terms so [anyone] could gloss over it in 30 - 60s of reading."
It is compelling reading for anyone who is worried about the threat of hackers, as well as the way their digital footprint is being used to bombard them with targeted ads.
A viral internet guide
The first tweet of Liam's thread reads as follows:
How to DELETE 99.9% of your digital footprint from the internet [a thread]— Liam 💻 (@somenerdliam) 15 October, 2019
The first step, he says, is to make a checklist of every email account you have had over the past ten 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," Liam explains.
Locating and deleting old accounts
Liam's brilliant step-by-step guide goes into detail on each step of the process. After getting all of the old email accounts together, internet users will want to delete old accounts of forgotten services.
Step 2: Deleting old accounts from forgotten services— Liam 💻 (@somenerdliam) October 15, 2019
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
Step 2 of Liam's guide has two extra tips attached to it:
a) Send an email request for a company to delete your account if you can't find a delete function in settings.
b) If possible, delete the content and messages from an account before deleting the account itself, as these may be archived.
Verifying your online information is safe
How do you actually know if your information has been compromised already? Liam includes this information in step 3.
Step 3: Checking if your information has been compromised already.— Liam 💻 (@somenerdliam) October 15, 2019
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
Liam's guide runs up to over 11 steps, all of which we recommend reading on his thread.
The subsequent steps include tips on knowing how to remove your information from Google, stopping Google using your data, and using burner accounts. We highly recommend anyone with even a slight interest in data privacy read it.
Your data follows you around
As one tweeter replied to Liam:
Easier to change my identity, passport, city, relatives & friends— Asif (@asifkabeer) October 15, 2019
The original poster countered, however, by saying a person's digital footprint would remain attached to them no matter where they are.
Another responder suggested a certain government agency wouldn't be too happy about the thread:
the fbi after seeing this: pic.twitter.com/ZL98seYobe— g a r r b e a r 🖤 (@KvngBeyy) October 15, 2019
All we know is that malicious cybersecurity attacks are on the rise, and it's worth setting aside some time to clean up those loose threads we all leave dangling on unknown servers.