Removing your name from search engines can be challenging since search engines index public data available on the internet.
Here are a few steps you can take…
- Delete or Deactivate Your Accounts: Delete or deactivate your profiles on social media platforms and any other websites where you have an account. Note that some websites allow you to delete your account, while others only let you deactivate it.
- Contact Website Owners: For any content you cannot remove yourself, such as articles or blog posts written by others that mention your name, contact the owners of those websites and politely request them to remove your name.
- Data Broker Removal: Data brokers collect and sell personal information. Request removal from these data broker sites. This can be a long process, as there are many data brokers, and they often make the removal process complicated. Companies like DeleteMe offer services to do this for you.
- Google’s Personal Information Removal Service: Google has a policy of removing specific types of sensitive personal information, like bank account numbers and signatures, upon request. They may also remove non-consensual explicit or intimate individual images. However, they typically do not remove addresses and phone numbers unless they pose a risk of identity theft or harm.
- Create New Content: While you can’t remove your name entirely from search engines, creating new content can influence the search results. Start a blog, publish articles, or create profiles on popular social media sites. This can help push the unwanted effects further down.
- Legal Action: If the content is defamatory or your privacy has been invaded somehow, you might consider taking legal action. If a court rules in your favor that certain content should be removed, you can present this information to search engines, which are likely to comply with the court’s decision.
- Hire a Professional: Reputation management companies specialize in this type of service. However, this can be a costly option.
Keep in mind that while these steps can help you reduce the visibility of your name on the internet, completely removing your name from all search engines is a monumental task due to how the internet stores and spreads information.