Exposed Online? Google Secret Weapon Unveiled – How to Shield Your Personal Info

Google Secret Weapon

The online realm is a whirlwind of chaos and surprises. Whether you’re innocently sharing those “back-to-school” snapshots of your kids or unknowingly falling for an elaborate puppy scam, the digital landscape is rife with security pitfalls and deceitful schemes that demand constant vigilance.

This is particularly true when considering the potential exposure of your personal data on the vast internet canvas. However, Google is stepping up to the plate with a solution that simplifies the task of monitoring your online footprint. Enter the “Results about you” feature in Google search.

Although this invaluable tool made its debut in 2022, a fresh update was announced on August 3, promising to make the oversight of personal data an even more effortless endeavor. Before delving into the forthcoming enhancements, let’s explore some best practices in online security, insights into wielding the “Results about you” feature, and an overview of the impending changes.

Mastering Tech Savviness and Security

The ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, fraudulent calls, app vulnerabilities, and more necessitates constant awareness. It’s not solely teenagers on Snapchat or recipients of suspiciously generous cash gifts who are affected by these hazards.

Scammers exhibit a remarkable knack for creativity and can exploit personal data for their schemes. Consequently, adopting intelligent safeguards is imperative:

Activate two-factor authentication for your various accounts Exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar individuals or monetary offers If a call or message seems off, reach out to the person using a different mode of contact Avoid sharing on social media any information about yourself or your family that you wouldn’t share with a stranger (details like your child’s school, vacation plans, etc.) Moreover, even if you’ve refrained from posting personal information online, concerns might linger about the potential visibility of your phone number, home address, or email. Perhaps the security of your children’s information keeps you awake at night. This is precisely where Google’s “Results about you” feature steps in.

Regain Command of ‘Results about you’

If you perform searches using specific personal details (such as your name and location), and you encounter Google search results that you’d rather keep hidden, rest assured that you can take action. A tiny three-dot icon awaits you at the end of the search result’s URL. Upon clicking it, select “Remove result” from the ensuing options menu.

This process can be initiated from either your computer’s browser or your app. It proves especially handy if you stumble upon a webpage revealing your contact information, like your phone number, email, or address, and it isn’t an official government or educational site.

As disclosed in Google’s “My Activity” section, each removal request undergoes scrutiny to ensure alignment with policy standards. This entails verifying that the details on your request form match the content on the webpage and confirming that the webpage isn’t linked to a governmental or educational entity. The evaluation generally concludes within a few days.

Now, what if you spot a search result related to you that doesn’t necessarily expose your contact information but does divulge other data you’re anxious to eliminate from public view? Fear not, for it is feasible. By using the comprehensive removal request form, you can have personal details removed from result listings, albeit through a slightly more protracted process.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Google’s commitment to enhancing user privacy is evident through initiatives like the “Results about you” feature. Armed with these insights, you’re better equipped to navigate the virtual labyrinth with confidence.

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