Infor­ma­tion and dig­i­tal hygiene is a hot top­ic that every­one is talk­ing about right now. What’s this? A set of sim­ple rules that allow you to use the Inter­net safe­ly and not leave an infor­ma­tion trail. This arti­cle talked about how to remove per­son­al data from the Inter­net, social net­works and oth­er sites, as well as how to make Inter­net access safe for adults and chil­dren.

Today, almost every per­son can find infor­ma­tion on the Inter­net. Pho­to: kto-chto-gde.ru

Why dig­i­tal hygiene is being talked about today
10 Dig­i­tal Hygiene Rules
How to find your mark on the Inter­net
How to remove per­son­al data from the Inter­net
Deac­ti­va­tion of social media accounts

Why digital hygiene is being talked about today

Even 20 years ago, the Inter­net was more anony­mous. Today, a cou­ple of hours is enough to find infor­ma­tion about almost any per­son on the web.

Why? Because in 20 years peo­ple have left a strong infor­ma­tion­al trail.


  • social media accounts. Espe­cial­ly if they con­tain real names, sur­names, patronymics, dates of birth, grad­u­a­tion from schools and uni­ver­si­ties;
  • nick­names on forums with real data (for exam­ple: olga.shol95);
  • men­tions in online mag­a­zines, com­mu­ni­ties;
  • bank card num­bers, postal address­es and phone num­bers left on var­i­ous sites, etc.

Life “in plain sight” scares the mod­ern Inter­net user. And he tries to defend his right to pri­va­cy. For exam­ple, it uses spe­cial pro­grams to pro­tect against sur­veil­lance, wire­tap­ping. We talked about them in our blog.

But this is not enough if the Inter­net already stores a lot of infor­ma­tion about a per­son. What is the way out? Remove as much data from the net­work and fol­low secu­ri­ty rules. And about what actions are includ­ed in the cat­e­go­ry of “dig­i­tal hygiene”, we will tell fur­ther.

Peo­ple leave a mark on the Inter­net when they com­mu­ni­cate on social net­works, buy goods, search for infor­ma­tion. Pho­to: tribuna24.ru

10 Digital Hygiene Rules

1. Do not use real names, sur­names (if pos­si­ble) when cre­at­ing online pro­files. Talk less about your­self online. Do not com­plete­ly fill out pro­files on web­sites, social net­works, vir­tu­al pro­files. Do not leave com­ments under posts (espe­cial­ly provoca­tive ones).

2. Set com­plex pass­words (let­ters, num­bers, sym­bols). You need to change them reg­u­lar­ly and use two-fac­tor authen­ti­ca­tion. You can­not include ani­mal names, names of rel­a­tives and friends, your nick­names, mem­o­rable dates in pass­words. You can­not use dupli­cates for dif­fer­ent resources. https://monitor.firefox.com/ and https://haveibeenpwned.com/ — on these sites you can check if your mail has got into a “merged”, dis­closed data­base. If you do, you need to change your pass­word imme­di­ate­ly. The search algo­rithm uses dark web data­bas­es and oth­er hid­den resources.

3. Do not use pirat­ed soft­ware. This applies to both per­son­al com­put­ers and smart­phones. Unli­censed soft­ware may con­tain virus­es, built-in spy­ware.

four. Stop using pub­lic Wi-Fi net­works. Since in such net­works data can be accessed by fraud­sters. For exam­ple, if a scam­mer cre­at­ed his own access point, call­ing it iden­ti­cal to the real one. As a result, all data pass­es through intrud­ers and they can inter­cept pass­words, card data, pri­vate cor­re­spon­dence. Fraud­sters can also redi­rect users to phish­ing sites. They are also need­ed to obtain per­son­al and bank­ing data.

5. Use 2 mail­box­es. One is for per­son­al cor­re­spon­dence. The oth­er is for reg­is­tra­tion in social net­works and var­i­ous ser­vices.

6. Check access rights reg­u­lar­ly. Smart­phone appli­ca­tions usu­al­ly ask for access to the cam­era, phone book, micro­phone, gallery. You don’t need to grant an access right unless it’s crit­i­cal to the oper­a­tion of the appli­ca­tion. For exam­ple, a pho­to edi­tor does not need access to the micro­phone and con­tacts. Since no one can guar­an­tee that this infor­ma­tion (for exam­ple, phone book data) will not be trans­ferred to scam­mers.

7. Get rid of every­thing super­flu­ous. This applies to chan­nels, publics, mail­ing lists, paid sub­scrip­tions. Do not click on dubi­ous links that come in let­ters, mes­sages. Clean your brows­er cache and search his­to­ry reg­u­lar­ly.

eight. Do not allow sites to remem­ber your bank card. Reg­u­lar­ly check the his­to­ry of finan­cial trans­ac­tions. A good solu­tion is to ask your cred­it report annu­al­ly to make sure that no loan has been tak­en out in your name. You can do this on the web­site of the Nation­al Bureau of Cred­it His­to­ry.

9. Update installed appli­ca­tions. In new ver­sions, not only change the design, but also close vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties.

ten. Keep track of your dig­i­tal fin­ger­print. Browsers store infor­ma­tion about loca­tion, requests. Cel­lu­lar oper­a­tors col­lect data on calls made and mes­sages for­ward­ed. It is impos­si­ble to com­plete­ly pro­tect your­self from this. But you can turn off loca­tion his­to­ry on Google Maps, turn off geolo­ca­tion, search for infor­ma­tion in Incog­ni­to mode, and turn on VPN.

These dig­i­tal hygiene rules are rel­e­vant for adults and chil­dren.

Using VPN, you can cre­ate a secure con­nec­tion with the sub­sti­tu­tion of the user’s loca­tion. Pho­to: technofan.com

How to find your mark on the Internet

There is no safe and uni­ver­sal way to auto­mat­i­cal­ly find all the sites you reg­is­tered on and men­tions of you on the Inter­net. There used to be a web­site called Deseat.me that allowed you to find accounts linked to gmail. The site is cur­rent­ly down.

As ana­logues, they offer Accoun­tKiller and oth­ers like it. But they are not look­ing for infor­ma­tion on a per­son. They sim­ply offer instruc­tions on how to delete accounts on var­i­ous pop­u­lar sites.

What can be done:

  • enter into the search engine (both Google and Yan­dex — their results are dif­fer­ent) your full name and / or full name. Sites that men­tioned this com­bi­na­tion will appear on the first pages. Most often these are social net­works, forums, reviews;
  • car­ry out a sim­i­lar search by mail, phone num­ber;
  • find accounts in brows­er set­tings. To do this, go to “Set­tings” (three dots or three bars in the upper right cor­ner) — “Aut­ofill” — open the “Pass­words” tab (rel­e­vant for Chrome, Canary, Uran, Yandex.Browser, Fire­Fox). For Opera — “Set­tings” (gear icon, locat­ed in the pan­el on the left) — “Advanced” — “Aut­ofill” — “Pass­words”. There will be a list of saved pass­words from your accounts and sites where you reg­is­tered;
  • by mail, you can search for the words “reg­is­tra­tion, account, account” and deriv­a­tives. For exam­ple, in Gmail at the top of the page there is a spe­cial field “Search in mail”. The key­word can be entered direct­ly there.

All sites on which you reg­is­tered, where there is a men­tion of you, need to be col­lect­ed in one list.

By saved pass­words, you can find out on which sites you reg­is­tered. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

To delete infor­ma­tion, accounts, you need to go to each site found under your user­name and pass­word. Before delet­ing accounts on forums, reviews, social net­works, it is advis­able to delete all pho­tos there, posts, friends, etc. All infor­ma­tion that is some­how con­nect­ed with your page. Since no one can guar­an­tee that after delet­ing an account, this data will also be delet­ed.

Next, you need to deac­ti­vate, freeze, delete your account. It all depends on what func­tion is avail­able on a par­tic­u­lar resource. If there is no access to the account (or they are incor­rect), you can recov­er the pass­word or write to the site admin­is­tra­tion.

How to remove personal data from the Internet

If some infor­ma­tion about a per­son remains on the site, he can refer to the right to be for­got­ten — Fed­er­al Law No. 264-FZ “On Amend­ments to the Fed­er­al Law” On Infor­ma­tion, Infor­ma­tion Tech­nolo­gies and Infor­ma­tion Pro­tec­tion “and Arti­cles 29 and 402 of the Civ­il Code of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion “.

What’s this? This is the right of an indi­vid­ual to request the removal of their per­son­al data from the pub­lic domain. We are talk­ing about links to infor­ma­tion that is not rel­e­vant or can harm a per­son.

Use­ful links:

– Google’s right to be for­got­ten;

– the right to be for­got­ten from Yan­dex;

— a state­ment of copy­right infringe­ment from Google (for exam­ple, if copy­right­ed arti­cles, poems, pho­tos were post­ed with­out your knowl­edge);

– an appli­ca­tion for the removal of inti­mate pho­tos and sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion.

There is such a sit­u­a­tion — the site erased the infor­ma­tion, but it is still in the search results. In this case, you can apply with a spe­cial appli­ca­tion to Google or Yan­dex to remove these pages.

Deactivation of social media accounts

How to delete personal data and a page in VK (VKontakte)

It is very easy to do this. Need:

  • go to “Set­tings” (down arrow in the upper right cor­ner, next to the avatar)
  • go down to the bot­tom of the page and select “Delete your page”;
  • after that, just select the rea­son for dele­tion and click on “Delete page”. If you do not want your friends to know that you plan to delete the page, uncheck the “Tell Friends” box.

Impor­tant: the page is delet­ed instant­ly, but it can be restored with­in six months.

Delet­ing a page on Vkon­tak­te is very sim­ple. The desired but­ton is locat­ed in the “Set­tings” menu. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

The big prob­lem for those who want to hide their mark is com­ments in VK. They get into the search results. And even if the page is delet­ed, they remain under posts.

How to delete personal data and a page from Odnoklassniki


  • go to your page;
  • in the menu under the name and sur­name, select “More”;
  • click on “Set­tings”;
  • go down to the end of the page, in the right­most block find the “Reg­u­la­tions” tab, click on it;
  • at the bot­tom of the page that opens, click on “Refuse ser­vices”;
  • indi­cate the rea­son for dele­tion, enter the pass­word and click “Delete”.

With­in 90 days, you can restore the page.

How to permanently delete a Facebook page from your phone (banned in Russia; owned by Meta Corporation, an extremist organization banned in Russia)

In March 2022, sev­er­al social net­works were banned in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion. With the help of this instruc­tion, you can get rid of accounts in these social net­works.
Impor­tant: You can only access your accounts with a VPN.


  • log into your account;
  • click on the three hor­i­zon­tal bars in the upper right cor­ner;
  • select “Set­tings”, the “gear” icon;
  • click on “Per­son­al data and account infor­ma­tion”;
  • select “Account Man­age­ment”;
  • click on “Deac­ti­vate and delete”.

Next, the user is offered an account:

deac­ti­vate — you can use the mes­sen­ger. But the First Name, Last Name will be removed from the mate­ri­als that the per­son has shared, the page will be tem­porar­i­ly frozen. The abil­i­ty to view accounts, share mate­ri­als will not;

delete — in this case, the pro­file will be com­plete­ly delet­ed, it will be impos­si­ble to restore the mate­ri­als. But the user has 14 days after the dele­tion to change the deci­sion and restore the page.

Before the com­plete removal of Face­book (banned in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion; owned by the Meta Cor­po­ra­tion, an extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion banned in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion) sug­gests:

  • save pub­li­ca­tions made by the user to the archive;
  • upload a pho­to;
  • trans­fer infor­ma­tion (pho­tos, videos, pub­li­ca­tions) to oth­er Google Pho­to, Drop­Box, Koof, Google Docs ser­vices.
How to delete a page on a social net­work from a smart­phone. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Removing an account from the web version


  • enter the “Gen­er­al” tab;
  • select “Delete account and infor­ma­tion”;
  • refuse deac­ti­va­tion (sim­i­lar offer as in the mobile ver­sion);
  • click on the “Delete account” but­ton.

Deleting a business page


  • go to the page you man­age;
  • go to its “Set­tings”;
  • select “Gen­er­al”;
  • click on “Delete Page”.

With­in 14 days, the page can be restored.

How to permanently delete a page on Instagram (Instagram is banned in the Russian Federation; belongs to the Meta corporation, an extremist organization banned in the Russian Federation) via phone

How to delete from a smart­phone on Android and iOS:

  • enter the appli­ca­tion;
  • click on the three bars in the upper right cor­ner;
  • select “Set­tings”;
  • click on “Help Cen­ter”;
  • in the search bar, enter “Delete account”, click on the mag­ni­fy­ing glass;
  • in the text of the instruc­tion, click on “Delete account”;
  • select a rea­son for dele­tion;
  • enter the pass­word for the account;
  • click on the “Delete account” but­ton.

The page will be frozen for 30 days. Dur­ing this time, it can be restored. After 30 days, recov­ery will be impos­si­ble. As in the case of Face­book (banned in Rus­sia; owned by Meta Cor­po­ra­tion, an extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion banned in Rus­sia), an account can be deac­ti­vat­ed indef­i­nite­ly.

An exam­ple is how to delete your account from a smart­phone. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

How to remove from web ver­sion:

  • go to the social net­work site, log in;
  • click on your avatar in the upper right cor­ner, select the “Pro­file” tab;
  • scroll to the bot­tom of the page and select “Help”;
  • click on “Man­age your account”, and then — “Delete account”;
  • select “How to delete my account”;
  • in the text of the instruc­tion, click on “Delete account”;
  • select a rea­son for dele­tion;
  • enter the pass­word for the account;
  • click on the “Delete account” but­ton.

How to delete a Twitter account

Get­ting rid of an account in this social net­work is easy. Enough:

  • enter “Set­tings”;
  • select “Deac­ti­vate your account”;
  • click “Dis­able”.

With­in 30 days, the page can be restored. Then this fea­ture will be unavail­able.

All the infor­ma­tion that was on the page (posts, pho­tos) can be pre-down­loaded. For this you need:

  • go to “Set­tings”;
  • select “Upload archive”;
  • con­firm your deci­sion by click­ing on the “Down­load” but­ton.

Such actions will help clear the Inter­net of many ref­er­ences to a per­son and his per­son­al data. Com­pli­ance with the above rec­om­men­da­tions is not a guar­an­tee of 100% secu­ri­ty. But this is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to prac­ti­cal­ly not leave an infor­ma­tion trail. If you are inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about this top­ic, you can read the nov­el­ty of this spring, the book “Dig­i­tal Hygiene” (I. Ash­manov, N. Kasper­skaya).