Personal Detective Help Needed.
April 1, 2010 11:45 AM   Subscribe

How do I erase certain parts of myself from the internets?

Asking this anonymously for obvious reasons....

I've been a child of the internet for a long time now and during that time I've used a very specific username. People - online and off - know me by this moniker. I'm about to start using this name to represent myself professionally in the next few years.

Over time I've used my name to sign up to specific sites. Nothing dangerous or illegal but, were I to get famous and they were found, could be potentially damaging.

I've closed down as many of the logins as I can remember but is there any way of making sure I've got all of them? I've tried googling my name, but I'm sure there's more. Is there any search engine I could plug this name into to find out?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could try usernamecheck.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:54 AM on April 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh dude...the internets are archived all over the place...especially social networking sites, forums, etc. To say that you've erased yourself from there is to assume quite a bit.

Your best bet would be to change your name. Sorry...but if you feel you have to try to erase parts of yourself you're already screwed.

A google search today is not as comprehensive as a google search tomorrow.

MeMail me with your username if you want me to show you something you don't want others to see.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:08 PM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another place to check would be to figure out all the URLs this name has appeared under and plug then into archive.org. But I'm agreeing with hal_c_on.... once stuff is on the Internet, it's nearly impossible to scrub it, and what's to stop someone from re-posting an old thread they saved on their hard drive?
posted by crapmatic at 12:21 PM on April 1, 2010


(archive.org = Wayback Machine)
posted by crapmatic at 12:22 PM on April 1, 2010


Previously.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:29 PM on April 1, 2010


Yeah, that porn site that you joined is going to haunt you forever, as is the pot-legalization forum that you so enthusiastically posted in.

What's done is done. Move on or craft a new identity for yourself.
posted by ged at 1:12 PM on April 1, 2010


Another idea, you could go the opposite way and use that name to sign up for everything out there and just water down the google results enough that it wouldn't matter.
posted by Craig at 1:27 PM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember Lifehacker had something recently but couldn't find, was able to find this:
Remove Your information from People Search Databases, Social Networks, and Search Engine Results
posted by doorsfan at 1:42 PM on April 1, 2010


Craig's idea has merit, but I think in order for Google's spiders to notice the extra incidences of your username, you'd have to actually post, and not just sign up.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:30 PM on April 1, 2010


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