How to remove personal information from Google Search

A guide to removing your personal information from Google

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PUREVPNA guide to removing your personal information from Google

Have you ever typed your name into Google Search to see what comes up? 

It’s like looking into a virtual mirror. 

But what happens when that mirror reflects more than you’d like? 

In this age of online tracking, our personal information is constantly being collected, stored, and shared with third parties. This can lead to potential misuse and even identity theft. Therefore, it is crucial to take control of your online privacy by removing your personal information from the most popular search engine in the world: Google Search.

So, do you want to reclaim your personal information from Google and take charge of your narrative? Keep reading to find out how.

Before we discuss how to remove personal information from Google, it is important to understand how this information ends up on the search engine in the first place. 

Google’s search engine crawls the web, indexing and storing information about websites and pages. When you search for something on Google, it retrieves relevant information and displays it in its search results. This includes snippets from web pages, images, and even personal information, such as your name, address, and contact details. 

This personal information can come from various sources, including social media profiles, public directories, and online publications. It is also important to mention that Google does not actively seek out this information but rather aggregates it from publicly available sources.

Here are the main reasons you should consider removing your personal details from the search engine. 

Ensure your online privacy

No one wants their personally identifiable information available for the world to see. If your confidential details, like your address or financial information, are present online, it could increase your chances of being stalked, harassed, and scammed. Moreover, it could lead to identity theft. 

Boost your digital security

One of the best ways to reduce the chances of being exploited by cybercriminals is to minimize the personal data available about you on the internet. Malicious actors can use your sensitive information, such as your name and social security number, to commit various crimes. 

Professional image maintenance

Who doesn’t want to present a polished and flawless professional image? Removing outdated, incorrect, or negative information about you from the internet allows you to do just that. This is especially crucial for dealing with potential employers, clients, and colleagues. 

Read more: Top security tips on how to change your Google password

Google allows you to remove your personally identifiable information from its search results. You can also request to remove any outdated or inaccurate information, sensitive data, non-consensual explicit content, and copyrighted material from Google. In addition, you can ask Google to blur the images of your home on its maps to further enhance your online privacy.

Personally identifiable information may include:

  • Home address.
  • Email address.
  • Phone number.
  • Social security number.
  • Passport number.
  • Driver’s license number.
  • Bank account and card numbers.
  • Images of your handwritten signatures.
  • Images of your identification documents.
  • Restricted and official records like medical history.
  • Confidential login credentials.
  • Non-consensual or explicit images 
  • Inappropriate adult content linked to your name in Google search results.
  • Content about you on sites with exploitative removal practices.
  • Explicit images featuring minors.

How to remove personal information from Google for free?

Here are some practical steps you can take to remove or control your personal information from appearing on Google search results:

1. Fill out Google’s content removal form

To start the process, you’ll need to submit a removal request to Google. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Visit Google’s dedicated webpage to fill out the removal request form.

Step 2: Select the option that best fits your situation. You can choose whether you want to remove the information you see in Google Search or prevent information from showing in Google Search. 

Step 3: Specify if the information you want to be removed is appearing in Google’s search results and on a website or only in Google’s search results.

Step 4: Provide the necessary details in the removal request form. 

2. Contact the website owner

Another effective method is to directly reach out to the owner or administrator of the website hosting the content about you. Politely ask them to either completely remove your information or update it to ensure accuracy. This step can significantly contribute to preventing your information from appearing in Google search results.

If the information you’re dealing with is sensitive, harmful, or violates applicable laws (e.g., defamation or copyright infringement), consider submitting a legal request for removal. For content removal based on specific country or region-specific laws, refer to Google’s support webpage for reporting content and fill out the reporting form.

4. Delete your social media profiles

Taking control of your personal information also involves managing your social media presence. Consider deleting profiles that contain sensitive information about your personal or professional life. This action reduces the amount of data search engines like Google can index, thereby limiting your digital footprint.

5. Review and adjust privacy settings

If you’d rather not go as far as deleting your social media accounts, you can still enhance your privacy by adjusting your social media privacy settings. Most social media platforms offer the option to make your account private. This means that search engines won’t display the information available on your profile. You can also use a premium digital privacy manager such as PurePrivacy to safeguard your digital footprint. 

6. Regularly monitor your online presence

Stay vigilant by routinely checking what Google knows about you. Conduct searches using your name and review the results. By identifying outdated, inaccurate, or sensitive content, you can take prompt action to ensure that unwanted information doesn’t linger in Google’s search results, thereby minimizing potential risks.

However, every time you look up your name or other details online, don’t forget to delete your Google Search history.

On a final note

Protecting your online privacy in the digital age is of utmost importance. By following these tips on how to remove personal information from Google Search, you can remove your personal information from the search engine and actively manage your online presence.

Remember, your digital footprint is in your hands!

Stay connected to PureVPN Blog for more tips on how to improve your digital security and privacy. You can also share your thoughts and comments in the comments below.

Read more: Can Google track you with a VPN?

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