10 Steps to delete your digital data from Internet completely
Anyone who frequently using email or social media platforms has left behind a considerable trace, which has become undesirable considering the number of companies, individuals and even threat actors interested in collecting any record that may be useful to them, even for malicious purposes.
That is why users should take into account the existence of various methods to delete their records on the Internet, which will allow them to keep a digital history in condition. Below are some recommendations to phase out your Internet history, which will also allow you to keep space available for new information.
Release space in your email account
Although email platforms offer so much storage space that users don’t consider deleting their oldest records, it’s important to take this recommendation into account. The process for cleaning old emails depends entirely on the service used. For Gmail users, it’s important to remember that there is no automatic deletion mechanism, so you’ll need to do it manually and regularly.
In the search field, Gmail users can enter the term “old_than:” followed by a specific date. It is best to use the search parameter “old_than: 1y”, which will search for any message received more than a year ago, allowing users to discard older messages. In case users want to do an even more specific search, they can combine this search parameter with other terms. For example, searching “old_than: 1y is: unimportant” will yield all messages identified as low priority.
For Outlook users, this platform does not have search tools like Gmail, although there is the Filter option, available at the top of any folder. By entering that menu, users will be able to sort their emails ascending to immediately find their oldest messages and delete them easily.
Old information on social media
Surely every Twitter user would like to delete some old posts, which is possible using the tools included in the platform. This social platform also has an option to download all your tweets before deleting your account, so the user can keep a record of their activity.
Although there are multiple tools available for automatic deletion of records on Twitter, cybersecurity specialists highlight TweetDelete and Tweet Deleter, which are based on deleting tweets that reach a certain date. It should be mentioned that both applications have a free version and a paid version that does not go over $15 USD.
For iOS and Android mobile systems, there are also tool to debug the content of users’ Twitter and Facebook accounts; Jumbo allows us to delete old messages on these platforms after a certain time. Although they also have a limited free version, Jumbo’s full features are available for $9 per month.
If you want to delete old messages without using these tools, you can also do so manually. For your posts, you may want to use only tools like Facebook or Instagram stories, which are automatically deleted after 24 hours.
Online file storage
Constantly deleting files stored in the cloud that are no longer useful will help keep intruders away from their sensitive information, as well as reduce online storage costs for businesses and individuals. While there aren’t many options for deleting files automatically, there are ways to make this job easier.
Dropbox is one of the most popular storage platforms, and it’s important for users to maintain constant debugging. Users can select the header of the “Modified” column and select “Ascending” to see the files that have been un modified for the longest time. This will help users remove users from getting rid of files that only take up meaningless space.
Because it’s Google Drive, users might look for the header of the Last Modified column. Then click this header to toggle between viewing a list of recently changed files or recently changed files. You can also run a search like “Before: 2020–01–01” in the main Google Drive search box to find files that were last modified before a specific date (change the date if necessary). Use the Ctrl key while holding down to select multiple files at once, and then use the Trash icon to delete them.
Other popular platforms like iCloud and OneDrive have similar options, so users won’t have any trouble getting rid of their old records.
Internet use and activity records
Although Google has implemented some changes to its data collection policy, Google continues to exercise leadership in this practice. Security specialists consider that other companies like Apple and Microsoft do not require these tools because they do not collect as much user information as Google.
Deleting your Google logs is very easy: Sign in to your account and then click “Data & Customization” to see the information the company stores about your activity (search history, location, logins and devices). In each of these options, users can enable the Auto-Delete option, so that the information is automatically deleted after 3, 18, or 36 months.
In addition, the Basic Actions pane allows you to delete some of the information collected after a few weeks. For example, you can delete all your interactions with Google Nest systems from the last seven days.
After Google, Facebook must be the company that collects the most information from its users. In the Social Network Settings menu, you can click Facebook Info and View, allowing you to access and delete some of your old records. If necessary, you can also delete your information permanently.
Originally published at https://www.securitynewspaper.com on November 6, 2020.