Jan 13, 2012 12:46 AM GMT
Just in case you wanted to know... and specific instructions at the link.
If you’ve ever used the Internet, you have an online identity. Maybe it’s slight: a Hotmail account here, a comment on a news story there. Or maybe you’ve been more prolific, leaving a trail of usernames, accounts, messages, and profiles across the digital landscape. In any case, an active internet user owes it to himself to do a bit of self-Googling. What you’ll find will be both enlightening and humbling—even worrying.
Unease about your online identity shouldn’t be limited to how much information is publicly available. Online advertising is the engine that drives the Internet’s largest sites, including Google and Facebook, and it depends on your personal—and allegedly private—data for fuel. "The government, companies, and marketers all want us to share as much information as possible because that’s what’s good for them," says Rebecca Jeschke of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "and it’s time to think of what’s good for us."
While most Internet users seem fine with privacy tradeoffs, the lack of control will lead some to consider the nuclear option: total Internet evacuation. But taking yourself offline isn’t as simple as logging out—it requires a little bit of work.