Are there days when you wish you could just disappear from the Internet?
Maybe you're haunted by things you've said on social networks, or you're just sick of having companies track and catalog your every digital move.
Yeah, it'd be nice to pull the plug on the whole thing, but it would be easier to stop a runaway train, right?
Actually, it's not terribly difficult to pull the Internet equivalent of escaping to a deserted island. All it takes is time and tenacity.
A good place to start is with a Google search of your name to see if anything unsavory pops up. Remember that Google isn't your enemy; it's just the messenger. If you want to remove some embarrassing things you've said in a forum - or bad things that have been said about you somewhere - you need to get it removed from the original source.
Find an email address or phone number for the website in question and talk to a person who has the authority to grant your takedown request. Most websites have a Contact Us link at the bottom of their home pages.
If you can't find contact information, a "Who Is" Google search will tell you who registered the site. Type "whois www.name-of-site.com" in quotes.
Website operators are under no obligation to remove content unless they get a court order. But most will give you a fair hearing if you're polite and explain that the content is untrue, hurts your reputation or is making it hard for you to get a job.