There was a time when just about the worst thing to happen to you in terms of getting slandered was finding your name written on the restroom wall. After all, this seedy method of "communication" was smearing your good name, and even if the "charges" were outrageously false, just the fact that your name turned up there in the first place was enough to make people smirk and start talking.
Welcome to the Internet, the largest restroom of them all. Picture this: you're online, visiting different sites, reading up on some stuff, the usual. Then, on a whim, you Google your name, and faster than you can say "Kim Kardashian sex tape," you suddenly see countless results where your name figures prominently! And it gets even worse when you realize that half the sites aren't even ones you visit.
How can you remove yourself from Google searches? Are there options, or are you doomed to accept this terrible fate as a price to be paid for being online? Fear not, maligned one. There are things you can do to lessen, if not eliminate, the problem. Check it out!
The Obvious Start
According to Occam's Razor, the simplest answer is usually the correct one. You want to get removed from Google? Okay, then that's easy. Contact Google and inform them that you want them to have your personal data taken out. By doing this, content that resides on your site can be removed from Google search results.
Here's a warning, though. While you can have your site's content removed in this fashion, it's far more difficult to do anything about your data that shows up on other sites. There's only so much Google can do to remove personal information.
There are a lot of information broker services out there, all too eager to peddle your personal information to businesses. But it's possible in many cases to opt out of these services' lists. You need to contact them individually and in some cases furnish proof of who you are, and your name will be removed.
What Happens On The Internet, Stays.Forever
How much do you share about yourself on social media sites? Are you on Google Plus or Facebook, and if so, how much about your life, including images and videos, do you normally post? The higher your profile on these sites, the more likely you'll turn up in searches.
Call In Reinforcements
There are professionals out there that will clean up your reputation online, and monitor the Internet for further incidents. Although these services cost, these people are experienced professionals who know just what to do in order to safeguard your information.
Don't Be So Open With Strangers
Data collectors and miners can only collect and mine the information you give out. Be careful how much information you give out online, and be mindful who you give it to. Granted, a lot of sites, especially commercial ones, want certain information about you, but not all of the fields are mandatory. Give the bare minimum required, and as for the rest of the information requested, feel free to skip it. Check the privacy policies of the sites you sign up on, and see what your rights are.