How to Remove Yourself From Google and Bing Search Engines?
Updated on July 13, 2021: From now on, traffic filtering, malware protection, and suspicious DNS activity blocking are available as a part of the separate DNS Firewall app.
Have you ever wondered what the search engines know about you? Have you ever googled yourself? Of course, if you are not a celebrity, you won’t find anything special or compromising in the search results. That’s what you probably think. But in fact, if you type your name into Google or Bing search bar, you might find a lot more information than you’d expect. How will you feel when you find your private data there (like your phone number, physical address, or date of birth)? We suppose, you won’t like it.
Since people mostly don’t take basic precautionary measures in the internet, such situation becomes rather a rule than an exception. Even worse, the follow-up process of removing yourself from search engines is not so easy. It can be a long and daunting task that needs patience and some time. In order to help you, VPN Unlimited team prepares for you a detailed guide on how to remove personal information from the internet. What should you do in such cases? How to manage Privacy settings in Google and Bing? What are the precautionary measures to avoid such situations in the future? Let’s check it out!
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How to remove personal info from the internet?
First things first, you should type your full name into Google or Bing and analyze the results. At this point, you should understand that search engines don’t display data that they collect themselves. The information that you’ll see in search engine results pages is contained on independent sites. That’s why, if there is any information that you’d like to delete from the internet, you should sort these websites into 3 types and follow our instructions:
- Social Networks. In this case, it’s not too difficult to delete your private information yourself. All you need is to sign in your account and either 1) delete the profile if you don’t use it anymore, 2) or edit it. While editing, we highly recommend you to remove any personal information like your physical address and make your account absolutely private.
For instance, in Facebook Privacy settings you can easily uncheck the option Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline? and configure the accessibility of your profile, future posts. Also, after a recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, most social networks become updated their Privacy settings and gave users the ability to control their data that is shared with third parties.
- Personal Sites. If the site in question is your own old site that you can’t delete for any reason, you should contact Google or Bing customer support. In your message you should politely ask them to remove your URL from the search results and provide them with necessary information, proving that it really is your website.
- Any Other Websites. If you find your private data on external independent sites, you can’t remove it yourself, as it weren’t you who published it. In this case you have to go to the Contact Us page of these sites and (also politely) ask the owner or administrator to remove your sensitive info from their page. You should understand that politeness is essential to convince the owners of this site to fulfill your request, as they can feel they aren’t obliged to do this (they are, but go prove). In case they decline, you have no other choice than to go to court.
Bonus tip for the EU residents
Top 3 precautionary measures to delete your private data from search engine result pages
Once you’ve removed all your personal information from the search results, it’s high time you started taking precautionary measures to prevent their reappearance in the future. The key point is that your private data can leak to Google or Bing in 2 cases: 1) when you make too much personal information about yourself available in your social networks, or 2) when somebody hacks you. That’s why the precautionary measures should include the following:
- Manage your Google and Bing Privacy settings. All you have to do is to prohibit the search engines to track and collect any of your private information. This includes tracking location, browser history, and your profile data. You can easily do this in Google and Bing Privacy Settings.
- Use a VPN app. A security solution like VPN Unlimited encrypts your private information and doesn’t let any cyber criminals to access it. Using a virtual private network, you can be sure that no hacker will compromise your sensitive data and make it available in search engine results pages.
- Turn off the GPS. Use your GPS only when you really need it. Since it tracks your location, your prohibition to access your private information won’t guarantee the security of your data. In order to protect it from being gathered, you have to follow all the aforementioned recommendations at once. Stay safe!