Search Engine Management and Reducing Digital Footprint
First of all lets see what search engines can find about you just on your name try the following searches first:
Filetype:.doc intext:"your name"
Firefox lets you pick your search engine so it’s likely Google or Bing, or Amazon or Wikipedia. DuckDuckGo uses Bing’s search so again you probably only need to focus on Google and Bing to reduce the bulk of online content.
- Use a password manager to keep track of accounts and also minimise cross-site compromises by using unique emails/usernames and unique passwords. use MFA (but not the SMS variety)
- Delete old and unused accounts
- Make social media accounts private
- Hide your browsing habits via incognito modes
- Use a VPN
- Avoid filling in surveys and opinion polls on social media
- Use pseudonyms when you must register accounts and never answer favourite pet or maiden names with real data.
- Use a generic spare email account for signing up to things so they not tied to the same account you use for your bank etc
- Unsubscribe from emails/newsletters etc
- Delete your history on major service providers - e.g., Google.
- Turn off watch history etc on YouTube etc
- Delete and deny cookies, clear cookies and browser sessions regularly
- Use an Ad blocker
- Ask the Wayback Machine to delete archived content
- If you do have a Google account set up alerts for your name, email address or other data you want to keep track of.
- Google outdated content refresh/removal
- Bing content removal although the outdated cache check never works for me.
- Namechk search usernames on a huge list of websites
Published 3 September 2023, with 280 words.