It can be a very unpleasant surprise to suddenly find out that your personal data is available via Google. If a person decides to place your information on their website, Google will index it and make it available for those who do a quick search.
So what can you do if your information can be found in Google searches? Here you’ll find the steps you have to take to remove the information.
1. Talk to the website owner
First of all, contact the website owner. Lots of websites feature an ‘about’ or ‘contact’ section in which they provide people with contact details. If you can send an email to the person who owns the site, you can ask them to delete the information yourself.
If there are no contact details on the site, you can use a search on whois.com. Just enter the site’s address into the top search bar and hit ‘WHOIS’. Then you’ll probably be able to find an email address to use.
If you don’t manage to find any contact information, you should try to find the domain registrar. Under ‘Registrar’ you can normally find the name or site of the company hosting the domain for the owner. These are the professional companies that have contact information publicly available.
2. Outdated Content Removal
If the information you’re trying to delete from Google has already been deleted from the site it was originally hosted in, you should use the Outdated Content Removal tool, which lets you remove the old search results. Later they would do it themselves anyway when updating the search engine; however, it would be better to get rid of this data asap.
3. Removal Request
If the first step didn’t work out, try using a Google removal request. If your data matches Google’s guidelines, you can fill out a special form. In case your pictures were shared around, you’ve been doxxed or your financial or medical info has been leaked, Google should remove it.
Follow the link and just answer the questions about the content you’d like to remove. Google will check the information and hopefully delete the data.