Privacy Online – Remove Information from Google

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The internet is a daily portion of nearly everyone’s modern workday. Email, video, web content creation, surfing as a distraction, Facebooking.. the list is nearly endless to what you can do online. And then when you’re reading the news, all of those little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Another story about Facebook privacy issues, Google data collections privacy cries. How much does Google know about you as a user? How much of your personal browsing and search history is obtainable to those who know?

Thankfully, there are steps to deal with your fears and alleviate concerns. Google as a base company is really quite basic and infantile in nature, it just indexes the web and everything on it. No inhibitions, no bias, just indexing. And as a general rule, Google doesn’t like to remove that information, namely because it’s helped them build the index that the world has come to get used too. There are some hoops however, that you can jump through if you’re genuinely bothered about data collection.

The best starting point of course, is if you have information you want to be private, make sure it’s set as such so that Google and other search engines don’t find it in the first place. Take Facebook for instance, you wouldn’t want the world to know that you’re going on a month long trip and that there’s no one taking care of your home, that’s just an open invitation to be alleviated of your materialistic burdens. Pointing your browser through the following Facebook settings : “Account > Privacy Settings” you can then customize the settings from different aspects of your account, such as photos of you and your address. “Friends only” keeps them from being indexed by search engines.

Now that only works on the largest social network out there at the moment, but what if you’ve slipped up already and your information is “out there”? Your first choice is to ask the website owner to remove your information and then try the following:

Access Google’s public removal tool
Choose “New removal request”
Enter the URL of the page you’d like removed from Google.

Additionally, if the information is of an extremely sensitive and personal nature, it’s highly likely that it’ll be dealt with swiftly as privacy has become a very large concern.

Out of any Google owned products thankfully, being removed from the service is typically just a link and an email away. After a few days of waiting, your name and personal information will be removed from services like Maps, Blogger, Youtube and Street View. Privacy is a huge concern for many people now a days, however he was received I do believe Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said it best, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it (publicly) in the first place.” View the internet as the largest glass house ever constructed, and conduct yourself accordingly.

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