We all know somebody whose personal information has ended up in the wrong hands: they had fraudulent charges on their credit card, or they have been notified of their information being involved in a large scale data breach, or worst of all: their identity was stolen.
If you’re worried that your personal information might get stolen, it’s best practice to remove personal information from Google search results altogether.
How to Remove Your Personal Information From The Internet
While you can purchase many professional services offering to help manage your online footprint, there are also many free ways that can help you remove your information from the internet.
Step 1: Erase Online Accounts
Most of the websites that we use regularly, like Amazon or Netflix, also store a lot of personal information — your full name, email, maybe even your date of birth, your address, and more.
Deleting accounts that you no longer use is a great way to start erasing yourself from the internet. Each website and app has its own set of instructions for deleting an account, so this might take some time.
Step 2: Find the Source
When someone searches for you on Google and finds your personal information, the website that they show is the source of your information — not Google itself. For example, if you’ve posted content on a blog or forum, the original website “hosts” that information.
The best way to remove yourself these kinds of searches is to go back to the original “host” site and delete your account or content from there.
Step 3: Remove yourself from data broker websites
Data brokers like Whitepages, BeenVerified, and Intelius are constantly crawling the web for your personal information, and then collecting and organizing it into personal profiles about you. They post this on their websites, making your information publicly available for anyone to find. They basically collect data about every move you make online, put together a profile, and sell it to anyone who will buy it (at a pretty low cost).
You could go through each website yourself, and send individual requests to each one to remove your information. This can be an intimidating task: there are countless data broker sites, and new ones are always appearing. Each data broker has its own opt-out process, and might even make you a new listing shortly after you’ve removed one.
Another option is to use DeleteMe. DeleteMe is a hands-free subscription service that removes your personal information from the leading data broker websites online. DeleteMe’s privacy specialists are experts in removal from Whitepages as well as all other major data broker websites.
DeleteMe empowers individuals to take back control over their personal information; and how it is accessed, shared, and sold online. The subscription service removes details like names, addresses, and phone numbers from websites such as Whitepages, Spokeo, and Intelius in order to help clients remove personal information from Google.
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