how do you remove your personal information from the internet?

How Can You Remove Your Personal Information From the Internet?

Online privacy has undoubtedly become a hot topic as an ever-increasing number of people are keen to understand how can you remove your personal information from the internet. A sharp increase in data breaches is also worsening the consternation.


The presence of personal information on the internet can translate to increased risks of financial fraud, reputational damage, and identity fraud. Hence, the need to consult an online reputation management (ORM) specialist to determine how you can regain control of your information. Adopting a proactive approach to protect your data and reputation is more important now than ever.


ORM agencies provide wide-ranging solutions to significantly reduce the risk of suffering reputational damage or become a fraud victim. The agencies can assist you in minimizing the amount of your sensitive personal information appearing across the internet. In doing so, you reduce the potential for privacy violations and other threats.


What types of personal information should I be worried about?


The internet hosts a staggering amount of information as an ever-increasing number of people post various content online. This trend has seen an accumulation of all kinds of personal information. However, many individuals end up with sensitive personal details appearing in the public domain. This unacceptable exposure creates risks.


Here are some types of sensitive personal information that should not appear on search engines, people finder websites, social media, and other platforms.


  • Contact information
  • Confidential medical data
  • Banking details like credit card numbers
  • Account long credentials
  • Government-issued identification numbers


Sensitive personal details can attract criminals who are keen to sell the information via unscrupulous brokers. Some of the information may fall into bad actors’ hands due to data breaches, web browsing data, exposure via social media platforms, or data brokers. Your data may appear on the dark web or search engines like Google.


On the upside, you can seek a reputation management company’s assistance to initiate a Google removal request. Google provides a way to request the removal of sensitive personal data appearing on the search engine results pages (SERPs).


However, the chances of a successful removal are still slim, given that the tech giant tries to balance online privacy, neutrality, and the public interest. Thankfully, ORM companies can either help you remove or, in the worst-case scenario, suppress the undesirable web search results. When handled correctly, suppression hides the information by pushing the offending web pages lower on the search results pages.


Removing public records


The increased availability of public records raises privacy and security issues. On the other hand, some of the information is legally published online.


The law allows the publication of the records for the greater public good. Yet, many people object to the visibility of this kind of information. Hence, they reach out to online reputation management agencies to find ways to reduce the amount of data available to the public.


States permit and prohibit the publication of different types of records across the internet. Some of the public records include:


  • Property ownership information
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings
  • Arrest information
  • Court records
  • Occupational licenses
  • Voter registration data
  • Driver’s license details
  • Death, marriage, and birth records
  • Tax information


The records expose a considerable amount of personal information. You can take specific measures to mitigate the risks associated with the availability of this data. Depending on your state, authorities may agree to seal your sensitive records. The government can seal the records if they expose sensitive data that places you at the risk of harm.


Additionally, sealing is an option if you are a stalking or domestic abuse victim or have a juvenile arrest record. Alternatively, you can request to redact some records. With ORM specialists’ help, it is also possible to request data brokers to delete your sensitive personal data.


Some public records do not require a street address, enabling you to request the authorities to replace the address with a postal box number. On the other hand, consider masking your primary phone number by using a dedicated number for the records.


Proven ways to delete your details from the internet


By enlisting an experienced ORM firm’s help, you will find it easier to delete data from search engines, people finder directories, social media, e-commerce sites, and other platforms that collect user data.


Many people struggle to deal with the issue of how can you remove your personal information from the internet. The reason for failing to remove or suppress the visibility of personal information is that they attempt to handle the task without reputation management agencies’ assistance.


Remove yourself from social media


Your presence on social networking platforms plays an integral role in expanding your digital footprint. These platforms host a staggering amount of user data that is visible to most internet users. Some of the information ends up on search engines, people finder websites, and other platforms.


Managing the information you post on social media is a vital step towards regaining control of your reputation. You can either reduce the information or delete your account permanently. Social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter make it easier to remove your information or close an account. Once you delete the account, your data become unavailable to other users in 30 days or so, depending on the platform’s policies.


Delete personal information from people finder websites


People finder platforms collect a large amount of personal data they harvest from various sources, including government websites and social media. These platforms provide access to the data for a fee. They generally sell the information in vast quantities to corporate buyers.


Online reputation management companies can assist you to delete personal details from individual sites. Some of the reputable people finder websites provide opt-out pages, but the process can be cumbersome. The best part is that ORM firms provide personal information removal services and ongoing monitoring to prevent the re-appearance of your data online.


Taking the legal route to force the platforms to take down your information depends on where you live. If you live in states like California, you can simultaneously submit data deletion requests to multiple data collection websites.


Remove personal details from e-commerce sites


E-commerce sites typically store customers’ personally identifiable information. You can learn more about how can you remove your personal information from the internet, including online shops, by visiting the concerned site. Amazon, eBay, and other retailers allow you to request deletion of your sensitive data.


If you cannot locate a link for the purpose, get in touch with the e-commerce site’s customer support services. You can have your buyer account deleted or deactivated.


Delete data from forum posts and discussions


Many people forget to remove information posted on comments, forum posts, and discussions. Although this type of information may prove challenging to delete, you can hire an ORM company to achieve the desired outcome.


Website owners or webmasters often cite the terms and conditions for refusing to takedown user comments or forum posts. Reputation management experts employ effective solutions to ensure the removal of user content on such platforms.


Deactivate redundant email accounts


If you have any old email accounts, consider deactivating them as they may contain sensitive personal information. By deactivating old email accounts, you eliminate the possibility that a breach could expose your information.


Removing personal information directly from websites


ORM experts can reach out to third-party websites to request or demand the removal of your sensitive personal data or content. Whether the information appears on a blog, online magazine, or other platforms, you can rely on ORM agencies to find practical ways to get the information removed.


In some cases, a simple email or message via the contact form allows you to communicate directly with the webmaster or website owner. If the website does not provide contact details, an online reputation management consultant can conduct thorough research to reach the webmaster.


Whois details or a web host may reveal the website owner, enabling the ORM specialist to discuss the removal of your information with the concerned party. However, getting in touch with the owner or webmaster does not guarantee success. Some webmasters demand payment for taking down the content.


If these measures do not achieve the desired objective, the reputation management company can request search engines to delist the offending web page. In the event that the search engines decline the request from the ORM agency, you can ask the agency to suppress the page from search results.


Remove personal information from Google


Google allows internet users to request the removal of web pages that infringe its policies, the law, or your rights. Once the tech giant de-indexes the concerned page, it will stop appearing on search results.


To qualify for removal, your request should relate to the following types of personal information:


  • Sexually explicit images or videos
  • Images of hand-written signatures
  • Credit card numbers or other financial details
  • Personal medical records
  • Government-issued identity numbers


With the support of an online reputation management firm, you can make informed decisions about how can you remove your personal information from the internet. Most ORM companies work closely with lawyers and other partners to provide a comprehensive service. To discuss your specific reputation requirements or personal information removal needs, contact us today.


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