People are increasingly relying on the Internet, and personal information is becoming more readily available. If you enter your name in a popular search engine, then you may be surprised to find much more information about yourself than you expect. Perhaps it will be testimonials about the work of your company, or even the full name and address. It is almost impossible to quickly and completely remove information about yourself from search results on the Internet, but you can complicate access to such information when making inquiries.
Part 1 of 7: Social media privacy
Step 1. Close access to information on Facebook
Your Facebook page will be one of the first search results for your name, so it's best to keep your profile private. The changes will take effect within a few days.
- Log into your Facebook account and click the ▼ (inverted triangle) button in the bar at the top of the page.
- Select "Settings" and then click the "Privacy" tab on the left.
- Look for "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to display your profile in search results?" Click "Edit" and uncheck the corresponding box.
- Find the item "Who can see your posts in the future?" Click "Edit" and select anything other than "Shared by all".
Step 2. Close access to information on Google+
If you have a Gmail or YouTube account, then you almost certainly have a Google+ profile. Google+ profiles are also listed among the top search results on Google.
- Sign in to your Google+ account at plus.google.com.
- Click the menu button in the upper left corner and select "Settings".
- Uncheck "Show my profile in search results" in the "Profile" section. Search engines will no longer view your page. The changes will take effect within a few days.
Step 3. Close access to information on Twitter
If you use Twitter, you can keep your posts private. Thanks to this, your messages can only be read by those to whom you allow. However, it is more difficult to get new subscribers.
- Log into your Twitter account and click on your profile picture.
- Select "Settings" and then click on the "Security & Privacy" tab.
- Check the "Hide my tweets" box under the "Privacy" section. If you want to hide old posts from search engines, you will have to delete them.
Step 4. Change your social media name
People who are important to you on social networks probably know your page, so you can change your name to hide your profile from search engines. Change your name to a nickname known to your friends and family, but not to other people.
- Facebook - You can change the name in the settings menu under the "General" tab. Click "Edit" next to your name. You can change your name every 60 days.
- Google+ - Open your Google+ page and click on your name. Enter a new name. Doing so will change your name across all Google products associated with that account (Gmail and YouTube).
- Twitter - Log into your Twitter account and open your profile. Click the "Edit Profile" button and then change your name below the picture.
Part 2 of 7: Contact the site owners
Step 1. Search for your name
It will be much easier for you to solve a problem if you know exactly where to focus your efforts. Search for your name on various search engines. Add parameters like location to narrow down your search results. Note the top results for each system.
- Different search engines use different search algorithms, so this is how you will find all the information you are interested in.
- Remember that the reason your name appears is the content of the web, not the search engine.
Step 2. Find the contact details of the site
Many sites have a "Contact Us" section at the top or bottom of the page. Use this data to send a message to the site owner asking them to remove content with your personal information.
You can use the WHOIS domain registration database to try to find an address if it is not listed on the site. If the domain is privately registered, then your request will be sent to an authorized representative, who may or may not transfer it to the site owner
Step 3. Send a polite message
If information with your name is published on a third-party resource (for example, a blog post), then the problem can be solved with a polite short letter. Just kindly ask to remove your name from the site. Remember that this person is not obligated to comply with your request; that's why try to be as polite as possible.
You may have heard that it is illegal to post defamatory or defamatory information about a person. This is actually a very delicate legal issue, since it is extremely difficult to establish the exact nature of the content; in addition, site owners may use a loophole whereby they are not responsible for content if other users provide information. For you, this means one thing: the site owner is not at all obliged to delete such information. Send a polite letter and you might be in luck
Step 4. After removing the information, use the site removal tool on Google
If the site owner went to a meeting with you and deleted the content, the information may still appear in Google search results. Over time, search results will begin to remove this result, but you can speed up this process by submitting a corresponding request. Complete this form to remove the corresponding URL.
Step 5. Refer to the "People finder" and "411" sites
There are various online directories that may contain your name, phone number, and address. Submit deletion requests for each site. Other popular directories include Intelius and Spokeo.
You can use Abine's DeleteMe service to automatically request deletion of information from all reference sites. This service is paid, but much more efficient
Part 3 of 7: Turn to Hosting Companies
Step 1. Determine the host
You can find a site host using the WHOIS service. Hosts have the power to remove pages, especially if they violate the host's terms and policies. Hosts almost certainly prohibit the publication of defamatory or defamatory information, which can remove personal information. Contact the host if the site owner is not responding or refuses to cooperate.
Step 2. Send a request to the host
Send a polite but strong message to the host's contact address. Please try to point out the specific terms that the content violates. If your complaint is legitimate and the host is trustworthy, then this is usually enough.
Step 3. Submit your deletion request to DCMA
If someone unlawfully publishes your copyrighted material, you can request removal with DCMA. This will not help in the case of personal information, since it is not subject to copyright, but you can stop illegal distribution of your product. Some hosting companies may provide a dedicated address for copyright infringement questions, while in other cases, the message will need to be sent to a general address.
We have a dedicated article on our site on how to properly file a DMCA request
Part 4 of 7: Legal action
Step 1. When to file a claim
If the site owner and host refuse to remove the content, then legal action should be taken. For a positive outcome, it is advisable that the site owner or hosting company is located in the same country as you.
Remember, this method will only be effective if the published content is indeed illegal (defamatory, defamatory, copyright infringing). It is not illegal to simply publish your name on a website
Step 2. Contact an attorney to write a letter of intent to sue
This is the cheapest option and is usually enough to scare the recipient into deleting the content. Writing a letter will take several hours of a lawyer's time and shouldn't be too expensive. Send an email to the site owner and hosting company.
Step 3. Get a court order
This is the most expensive solution, so be sure to make sure the content is illegal. You will have to pay all legal fees if you cannot win a case against the site owner or host. Ask your lawyer if this is the right course of action for your case. It will be very difficult for you to achieve even a simple appointment of a hearing date if the host is located in a different country.
There is a special article on our website dedicated to obtaining a court order
Part 5 of 7: Change your search results
Step 1. When to use this approach
If you are having trouble getting others to delete information about you, then it is best to try to hide it behind positive content. To do this, you need to actively take the opposite approach and flood your search results with positive links.
Step 2. Register in all major social networks
You should create as much neutral or positive content as possible to hide negative information. Start with social media, as they tend to be among the top SERPs. Register with all major social networks and make your profile open to search engines.
Sign up with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram and other popular social networks
Step 3. Create profiles and posts on public forums
Create your profile on popular sites (including wikiHow). All of these actions will affect the search results. Create an account and post some helpful posts on popular topics to increase your chances of getting your name displayed in searches.
Step 4. Register your real name as a domain name
Such a link will quickly take first place in the search results due to the exact match.
- You can also link to this domain in your social media profiles. The more links from external sources, the higher the place in the search results.
- Use this opportunity to advertise yourself or your business. Include positive information, especially if you want to hide content that makes you look bad.
Step 5. Create a blog
If you want to seriously influence your search results, then a popular blog is perfect for that. It will take a lot of time, but this is the most effective way to hide an unwanted article or page. Services like Blogger or WordPress let you create a blog for free. Post at least once a week to fill your blog with content.
There is a dedicated article on our site dedicated to creating a blog
Step 6. Ask satisfied visitors to leave good reviews
If you own a company and want to hide a bad review, then ask satisfied customers to leave their review on services like Yelp or Google+. A sufficient number of positive reviews will quickly hide a negative review.
Step 7. Have patience
It can take weeks or months before you can cover that negative review, especially if it's popular. Search results will not change very quickly, even if you use paid services.
Part 6 of 7: Use the Right to Be Forgotten (EU)
Step 1. Visit the European Delete Search Results page
If you are a resident of the European Union, you may have looked at your data in a Google search and decided that it can be removed from the search results. To do this, you will need to fill out a form and indicate which results you want to remove. Not all queries are taken into account, and public information such as criminal convictions, illegal activities and financial fraud are usually not removed from search results.
Go to the form page to submit your request
Step 2. Fill out the form
You will need to provide your name as well as the name for which you want to remove search results. Attach specific links to the search results you want to remove. For each link, you must provide a reasoned explanation (outdated, inappropriate, controversial information).
Step 3. Attach a document that confirms your identity
It doesn't have to be a copy of your passport, but it should contain enough information to prove that you are that person.
Step 4. Wait until the request is accepted or rejected
If the information is deemed not of public interest, then the results will be removed from Google search results. It can take a long time to review and process your request.
Part 7 of 7: Remove Your Identity Information
Step 1. What can be removed from Google
Google does not often agree to remove information from search results, but you can request the removal of specific data. These include social security numbers, bank account or credit card numbers, an image of your signature, personal images uploaded without your consent, or your company name if associated with adult spam.
Remember that this does not remove the content from the page, it remains available on the site. To remove content, you must contact the site owners
Step 2. Visit the Google Removal Tool page
If your case falls into one of the above categories, you can request that the offending link be removed from Google search results. Go to the Google support page.
Step 3. Select "Remove information from Google search results."
You will need to indicate whether a page with such content is online or not.
Step 4. Select the type of content you want to remove
You will be presented with a list of all types of content that Google will remove from search results. After selecting the type of information, you will be presented with a detailed form.
Step 5. Fill out the form
You will be asked to provide a link to the site and your contact information. You will also need a link to a search results page that contains this information. Once completed, the form will be submitted for review.
Step 6. Wait for Google to delete the information
If Google confirms that the site displays your personal information without your consent, the link will be removed from the search results. Please note that this will not remove the content from the Internet and anyone will be able to share it on social networks. If you want to remove content from the network, then contact the site owner, host or court.