Do You Want to Become "Web Dead?"

You may have forgotten about your old Friendster account. Or maybe you’ve abandoned your Facebook or MySpace page, but it hasn’t abandoned you. All that information you posted in cyberspace is STILL sitting there, ready to be dredged up by anybody who Googles your name. According to Forbes magazine, some people want all online references about them to evaporate. Not just the odd embarrassing picture, or a blog rant they’ve had second thoughts about. In other words, they want to become “web dead” so that nobody can find out anything about them on the Internet. That’s not too difficult for people older than 60, who probably never posted much about themselves on the Internet. The younger you are, the more likely you’ve sent tons of information about yourself into cyberspace. Which means, erasing it all is pretty much impossible. Still, if you’d like to get rid of some of your past Internet postings, try these tips we got from Forbes magazine:

  • On Facebook, a link on the help page will temporarily “deactivate” your page. Or you can contact the site administrators and ask that your records be permanently erased.
  • MySpace offers an “account cancellation” option, which is also known as “the nuke button.” Most blogs and photo sites let you delete you postings fairly easily.  
  • Content created by other people is tricky because it’s often protected by free speech issues. That’s when services like Reputation Defender come in handy. For about $30, they can suppress negative information about you – but it won’t be completely gone. It just won’t be the first thing that pops up in a Google search. They also help you hire an attorney, if necessary.
  • Finally, even if you get Internet content removed, Google may still cough it up for weeks.  So, if you want the information to disappear faster, you’ll need to use Google’s Webpage Removal Request tool.

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