"Jihadi John," the masked man allegedly behind the beheading of several Islamic State hostages, was apparently very thorough in covering his tracks online -- leaving a cold trail for investigators.
But erasing all personal information on the Internet is far easier said than done.
Erasing all traces of yourself online doesn't just entail deactivating profiles on the most visible social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
That will wipe out big traces, but experts said it's nearly impossible to delete everything. However, you can get close.
"It takes persistence,” said Abine CEO Rob Shavell. “It takes understanding of where the information about you originates and how it gets put into different searchable databases and online services so it takes some amount of knowledge research and actually patience to remove your online identity."
CNN could only find a single tweet referencing Mohammed Emwazi, notifying the public about his court appearance. He was later found not guilty of theft charges.
Emwazi graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in computing engineering. So he may have been more adept at keeping a low Internet profile or sweeping up his tracks online.
A slew of services online promise to help erase you:
- Account killer has a large database of sites and quickly gets you to their delete pages
- Just delete me is a web browser extension alerting you anytime you're on a site that might need to be purged
- Knowem lets you type in whatever usernames you've used to quickly get you through a whole host of sites that may keep your profile visible
When there's no way to close an account, people move to falsify the name listed.
European courts have ruled users have a so-called "right to be forgotten."
EU citizens like Emwazi can fill out a simple online forum to Google to wash traces of search results they'd rather not appear online.
What you don't want to do to be forgotten, experts said, is get in trouble with the law or file complaints that could be entered into public record.
Emwazi appears to have done just that -- requesting help from a British prisoners’ rights group called Cage to protest his treatment by UK authorities.
Though he used a pseudonym Muhammed Inn Muazzam, keeping his true name off the Internet, he changed his name to Mohammed al-Ayan in 2013.
While most of society is seemingly obsessed with sharing everything on social media, another wave of people, like Mohammed Emwazi may look to leave it all behind, without a trace.