The Internet is the largest and most powerful source of information that has ever existed in the history of mankind.
There is no subject about which we want to be informed or doubt we want to solve about which the network does not provide at least some information just by performing a Google search.
Google as the great information source for our age
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Whether we like it or not, this also means that a great deal of information about any person can be accessed just by typing their first and last name.
There are times when the information that circulates on the network about you can negatively affect your online reputation, so it is important to be aware of what information other people have access to about you.
While it is true that it is very useful, it is not something that everyone likes, as they may feel that their privacy and right to honor are being violated because the data is so easily accessible.
In this article we are going to show you how you can remove your personal data from Google by following a few simple steps.
I don’t want to appear in Google, how do I remove my name from Google?
Before making any decision, it is interesting to know exactly what information there is on the network about us, what we know today as the digital footprint.
The easiest way to do this is to go on the Internet, type your name and surname and see what comes up.
In this sense we have to be creative and think about how someone who wants to get information about us would search for us, so we will try entering our first name and a single surname, a nickname, or diminutive in case we are also known in this way, etc.
Your name may appear on different social networks, your profile on different websites, etc. This is what makes up our fingerprint.
We must be careful and duly check that the information that appears corresponds to us and not to another person who, for example, has the same name as us and some of the surnames coincide.
Eliminate social networks
The typical place where information about us appears is on the different social networks we use. Here the options we are presented with are: either keep our profile in that social network but change our name, or delete our account completely.
There is a wide variety of social networks in which you may have an open personal profile, so in these cases, we recommend that you follow the conditions established by each one and the procedure to follow to close your account.
In any case, they all work more or less the same.
In our blog you will find several articles in which we explain, step by step, how you can close your account on a social network, such as how to delete an account on Instagram or how to delete an account on Facebook, among others.
Delete your data on other Google websites
Once the case has been solved in social networks, it is likely that your name will also appear on other web pages in which you have registered or in which you have an open profile.
In this case we are offered several alternatives:
- Contact form. Normally on all web pages, there is a contact form so that you can send an email message to the owner of the same. In that same space, we could request the elimination of our data.
- Contact the web hosting company. If WHOIS also does not give us results about the owner, but it does give us information about the company that has the hosting of that website, we can contact them directly asking for the removal of our personal information from the website so that they are the ones who request the owner.
Ask Google directly: remove your data from Google and protect your privacy
If we fail to do so in any of the above ways, Google may delete certain information that poses a significant risk of identity theft, fraud or other harm.
On Google’s website you can request the removal of sensitive personal information that may be available on the network, such as a bank account, a personal photograph or a signature, which can be used against you if used maliciously.
From this Google page you can perform the process by asking the webmaster to request this information. In the image below you can see the first thing the page asks you to do, depending on whether you want to remove information that appears in the search engine or whether you want to prevent information from appearing in the search engine.
From that point on, it is a matter of following the steps that appear, but we are going to consider the assumption as we would do it.
The first thing Google asks us to do is to check which of the first two options we want to check. Click on Remove information that appears in Google Search. Then, depending on the option that is correct for your case, you choose which information you want to delete. In this case we click on In Google search results and on a website.
In the following screenshot we mark the option that we consider as the case may be.
The following drop-down list of options appears in which we check Personal information, such as identification numbers and private documents and, in the following drop-down list, we check the first option as shown in the following image.
As you can see in the image below, the form is used to remove URLs with contact information that has been maliciously shared, as long as it is content that is still published on the web.
In case it is not available on the web, but still appears in Google search results, you should use the Remove Obsolete Content tool.
How to remove personal information from Google AutoComplete?
We are not going to tell you that it is a quick and immediate process because no, it is not. You will need to dedicate some time to it, since the tool we are going to see below allows you to request the removal of information from other places, such as YouTube, Gmail, etc.
In the case we are going to show you, you will be able to see the steps you have to follow, but it will depend on your specific case and on which page or platform you want to request the deletion of this data.
But first, a little information pill to situate ourselves.
What is Google Suggest and how does it work?
Google Suggest or Autocomplete is a feature of the Google search engine that offers suggestions to users to complete the query they are making when they enter words in the search box.
When typing in this Google search box, the form sends the data to the servers, which automatically make suggestions on how the query might proceed.
Google has an Artificial Intelligence that learns with every search we do in order to give us the best possible user experience so that the SERPs (search results pages) are increasingly better adapted to our requirements thanks to machine learning.
It is clear that this function that Google search engine offers us makes our life easier when we are performing a search, but some problems have also arisen that mainly affect personal rights and can damage our image and reputation.
As an example, in 2012, Bettina Wulff – wife of former German President Christian Wulff – sued Google because the AutoComplete function added keywords such as “prostitute” or “escort lady” when searching for her name.
Google argued in its defense that the company has no influence over users’ search queries and that Google Suggest is based solely on its users’ existing queries.
In 2013, a ruling by the German Federal Court of Justice forced search engines to take part if the privacy rights of individuals are infringed in any way by the AutoComplete function.
How to delete Google searches?
We are going to explain what you should do if you want to remove inappropriate or erroneous data about you that the search engine adds every time you type your name.
Through this link you will be able to access the form that you must complete to make your application, which is shown below.
The first thing to do is to choose the option that best meets your request. In this example our option to check is Google Search, as shown in the image below.
The next step is to mark which product our request refers to, which in this case is Other Search functions. A next drop-down will appear in which we will click on Autocomplete or related search.
In this last part of the form we are given a short explanation of what the AutoComplete function consists of and we are asked to check the option we consider appropriate among the following: Inappropriate Content, Court Order, Legal Problem or Child Sexual Abuse Image Material.
How to prevent your reputation from being listed on Google
More than one of us will have been surprised to google ourselves and find our name scattered all over the page. And in principle, this need not be a problem.
The problem arises when this information about us is negative or damages our image and violates our dignity.
Whenever we post a comment, reply on a blog or sign a guestbook – among other examples – your name and email address are part of the Internet’s memory.
As you can see, removing your name and surname from Google can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it is not impossible.
In any case, if you do not have that kind of time or if you find the whole procedure too complicated, there are services that take care of delete information from the Internet, so we recommend you to make use of them so that you can stop worrying and spend your time on other things.