It IS Possible to Delete Yourself from the Web

Dec 01, 2016 02:33 PM EST
Many online users may have had accounts that they regret ever signing up to as these show up on their online trail.
Deseat.me now allows anyone to erase personal online footprints. Deseat.me.

Many online users may have had accounts that they regret ever signing up to as these show up on their online trail. Worse, some may have posts that they regret publishing that they cannot have access to deleting any longer. Now, it is possible to delete one's online trail, a feat that has been virtually impossible for the longest time.

Enter Deseat.me, an internet deletion site founded by Swedish developers Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unnebäck. Deseat.me leads by its mission to "clean up your internet presence."

It is interesting to know that it is indeed possible to have a summary list of all accounts one has signed up to, even if it goes back to 10 years prior. Once signed up with Deseat.me, a user can then check all registered accounts still published online, and can choose to delete which ones he/she wants deleted from searches.

Basically the deletion process is a three-tier one: 1) Sign up with Deseat.me with email address and password; 2) Select accounts and site presence that want to be deleted; 3) Deseat.me does the 'deseating' for the user.

It is important to note that Deseat.me uses Google's OAuth protocol, which means this third-party site does not have any access to a user's login information. Dahlbo and Unnebäck say that any login information is not stored on Deseat.me's servers, but on the user's computer. The duo adds, "So basically the only thing you're telling us is what accounts you want to delete. That's it."

The limitation of this program is that it can only control Google accounts. When signing up, only Gmail accounts are accepted. For sites where Yahoo, Hotmail and Outlook were used, a user would have to delete them manually on individual websites.  

The program also does not work just yet with small websites such as blogs and gift registries signed up to. However, it does work well with big websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Managing online presence-and online trails-is important in this day and age where the web is largely used to verify information. For example, it is a little-known secret of headhunters to be "googling" applicants when checking for information placed on their CVs. In fact, 80% of employers "google job seekers before inviting them for an interview." It is then very important to keep one's online presence fresh and professional, especially if looking for a job. A simple YouTube video of an applicant partying can make or break a work opportunity.