Google’s Results About You feature flags when your phone number, email, or address appears in search and helps you remove it.
Results About You helps users keep an eye on their personal information. Credit: Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Have you ever Googled yourself and been surprised by the old social media images, usernames, and other dusty internet relics it unearths? Maybe the results are a bit more specific, like a former address or even a phone number. No one wants their personal contact information online for all to see without their knowledge — fortunately, Google can now help with that.
In August, announced a new Google Search feature that alerts users when their personal contact information appears in a Google Search query. “Results About You” not only lets users see when and where their contact information populates on the search engine but also offers the option to remove the page from Google’s results.
As Mashable reporter Amanda Yeo noted at the time of its announcement, Results About You is also particularly helpful for those who have been, or are at risk of, being doxxed.
Paired with Google’s other privacy settings and upcoming features, users can take more control of their digital footprint — at least, Google’s capturing of it. Here’s how to use it.
How to turn on Results About You:Only individuals with Google accounts can turn on this alert, so make sure you’ve created or signed in to your Google account.
Go to the Results About You activity page.
Click “Get Started” and follow the on-screen prompts.
Google will ask you to add any contact information you’d like flagged. Users can add multiple names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
Confirm the information and select how you’d like to be notified. Google can send the results to the email associated with your Google account or send push notifications to devices linked to your Google account.
Google will automatically scan Search results for your personal information and alert you if it finds anything. The company says the initial scan can take a few hours.
Return to the Results About You page at any time to edit your contact information.
How to remove your personal information from Search:While Google doesn’t have the ability to remove any information or images from non-Google sites, it can help users get personal contact information results removed from Google Search pages.
There are two ways to request that Google remove personal information from search results:
On Results About You:Go to the Results About You activity page.
Select “Results to review.”
Check the blue box next to any results you’d like to request removed.
Google reviews each request according to its policy requirements for removal. The status of a request can be viewed on the Results About You page, as well as an option to undo removals.
Via Google’s Help Center removal form:Go to Google support’s personal content removal form.
Fill out the requested information, including the type of content. Google may request screenshots, URLs to search result pages, and specific search terms used to populate the result.
Once filled out, submit the form.
For additional information on Google’s privacy and personal information controls, visit Google’s Safety Center.
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