NEW YORK (NBC News)-Turns out, trying to erase all that stuff about yourself that you've put on the internet over the years, is even harder than what you were told, but at least it's taught you to be more cautious going forward.
In the early days of social media, there was no hesitation with what we shared, with who we thought were only family and friends. But now we know others are watching.
"One in five people have had either their social media account or their email hijacked by a bad guy," said Bob Sullivan, author and online privacy expert. "So that means someone was able to impersonate them on Facebook or Twitter or send an email that looked like it was from them."
Privacy experts like Sullivan call what we've left behind on the internet, "digital breadcrumbs", that a new survey from the Pew Research Center shows, we're just now trying to trace.
Sullivan said, "Eighty-six percent say that they've tried to at least do something to clean up those digital bread crumbs."
Pew's research also shows people have lowered expectations of privacy while online, and also lowered the personal info they're posting.
"People are taking steps to protect their privacy but they don't know quite what they are doing and most of them feel pretty bad about all the information that's out there and don't really believe that they can protect themselves right now," said Sullivan.
A discouraging note from the survey, for online retailers: people want to hide personal info from not only hackers, but advertisers.