How to Reclaim Your Privacy Online!


  • A 2019 survey by Pew Research Center found that 72% of Americans feel as though their online and cellphone activity is being tracked by advertisers.
  • The same study also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that the risk associated with consumer data collection by companies outweighs the benefits.
  • Another study conducted by CISCO determined that 84% of consumers want more control over how companies use their data.

Every day, it seems as though we learn about a new data breach that affects millions of people around the world. Consumers are fed up with a constant invasion of their privacy and are looking for ways to protect their online data and to limit the amount of information that companies collect on them. In this week’s Data Privacy Day inspired post, we will discuss 3 ways you can reduce your digital footprint in order to reclaim your online privacy.

Delete Your Google Activity

With control of over 75% of the search engine market share, Google is, irrefutably, the largest search engine in the world. Consider the reality that Google also owns YouTube, Google Maps, and a handful of other services that store a massive amount of customer data, and you start to realize that Google may know you more than you know yourself. Luckily, it is easy to manually delete all your activity from Google. The following steps can be used to successfully delete your Google activity data:


  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open your device’s Settings app > Google > Manage your Google Account.
  2. At the top, tap Data & personalization.
  3. Under “Activity and timeline,” tap My Activity.
  4. To the right of the search bar, tap More ⋮ > Delete activity by.
  5. Below “Delete Activity,” tap All time.
  6. Tap Delete.

iPhone & iPad

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Gmail app.
  2. In the top right, tap your profile picture or initial > Manage your Google Account. If you don’t use Gmail, go to
  3. At the top, tap Data & personalization.
  4. Under “Activity and timeline,” tap My Activity.
  5. At the top right of the page, tap More ⋮ > Delete activity by.
  6. Below “Delete Activity,” tap All time.
  7. Tap Delete.

Pretty straightforward right? We will also provide you with other Google activity-related tips in our Additional Resources section below. This will demonstrate how Google uses your data and the additional options you, a consumer, have to limit the amount of data Google collects from you.

Remove Outdated, Personal, or Erroneous Data about You Online

Have you ever searched your name online and found outdated or sensitive information about yourself? If so, this tip is for you. The fastest and most effective way to remove your information from a website is to contact the website’s owner directly. This can be done via the website’s “contact us” page, contacting the website’s hosting company, or contacting the site owner via their email (The site’s hosting company and owner email can typically be obtained by searching whois www.{insertwebsitehere}.com or going to Sometimes, it can take a few hours, or days, for the information about you to stop showing on search results, even after the site owner has removed it. To speed up this process, you can use Google’s Outdated Content Removal tool.

If your sensitive information, such as, explicit/intimate images, financial information, medical information, and other information that could be used to cause serious injury or death is hosted on a particular website, you can use the following link to request that your personal information is removed from Google.

Use a Service to Remove Your Data from Data Collection Sites

Data brokers have one job, which is solely to collect as much information as they can about you and sell that information to advertisers and other interested parties. If you are down for the challenge, you can remove yourself from these data collection sites by searching your name and following the sites’ information removal process. The issue with this approach is that each data collection site has a different process that one needs to follow to have their data removed from the site. Additionally, these sites may re-upload your data after it has been removed, making this a continual effort. This is where data removal services are expedient. Companies such as DeleteMe will remove your collected data on your behalf. They even verify that the Data Broker do not re-upload your information. DeleteMe charges $10.75 a month/$129 a year for a plan that covers one person. It is also worth noting that removing your information from a data collections site typically removes data from Google and other search engines, so it is a win-win situation.

Everyone, regardless of country of origin, is entitled to some level of privacy. While companies and governmental organizations are collecting data on individuals at an ever-increasing rate, there are ways in which we can limit and/or prevent interested parties from tracking our online activity. Deleting your Google activity, removing outdated or sensitive information about you, and using data removal services are three greats ways to reclaim your privacy online! Interested in more online privacy tips and tricks? Contact us and we will be glad to continue the dialog with you. Do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter as well to stay up to date with our latest content!

Additional Resources

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