Online, you are guilty even after being proven innocent

Google search results arrest

Once you’re arrested, your name is tarnished forever.

Internet privacy is more relevant than ever. More and more people are having “Google problems.”  They usually look like this:

a) someone got arrested; b) the local newspaper wrote about it; c) prosecutors dropped the charges completely; d) the person’s record was expunged (in other words, the slate was wiped clean); but e) the original arrest article, however, is still online.

Now whenever anyone searches that person’s name, the arrest is one of the top Google results even though they’re weren’t guilty.

Google:  Your new permanent record

You can imagine the trouble this causes for the individual seeking the article’s takedown: difficulty getting a job, a promotion, or even a date.  It seems unfair that even though the judicial system saw fit to remove all traces of the arrest from the person’s record, there’s no corresponding requirement that the local newspaper do the same.  What’s the point of expunging a record when anyone with internet access can bring up an old, bogus arrest? Even if a court of law drops the matter, the court of public opinion has condemned that person for life.  Read More



How to delete things from the internet: a guide to doing the impossible

Don’t you wish there was a delete button for search results?

You want to delete something from the Internet:  maybe it’s an article, a picture, a blog post, an account, or a video.  It’s not always easy, but it can be done. So, here’s how to delete things from the internet.

We’ve spent years deleting people’s info from data broker websites with our product, DeleteMe, and we’ve learned a lot. Before we get to our 7 deletion tips, let start with some basic rules of the web.

Web Rule 1:  Walk before you run.  Deletion must be done from the original source before Google will notice.

In this guide, we’ll call the website that’s actually hosting the content you want removed–the original source–the publisher.  Blogs, newspapers, forums, Facebook…they’re all publishers.

Let’s say that someone wrote a really unflattering blog post about you and now it’s showing up in Google’s search results whenever someone searches for your name.  Naturally, you want it taken down from Google.  Here’s the important thing:  Google is not the source of that post; it’s merely letting that post be found more easily.  The post is actually hosted on the blog, which might be WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr, or another popular blogging site. Google does not have the file, nor can it delete the file.

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How to push negative search results down: 4 steps to bury them

In a perfect world, we’d be able to remove all the unfair, outdated, and negative search results about ourselves. In reality, most content is here to stay except in special circumstances. Remove what you can, but creating your own positive content to suppress the negatives is a great way to control your image and improve your search results. So, how do you push negative search results down?

Note that if you’re looking to disappear from the web, this isn’t the solution for you. You’ll be creating more content about you, but you’ll be tipping the balance from negative to positive.

Step 1:  Create and manage public profiles for yourself

Certain sites consistently appear high in the search results. By simply creating a profile on them with your name and a bit of identifying information, you can suppress negative results. Make sure that you set your privacy settings to be publicly viewed, and only post content that you’re absolutely sure you won’t regret later.  Read More



How Blur is different from OneLogin (and why your data is safe)

onelogin_logotype_black_rgb

You may have heard about the crack of OneLogin, and that user’s accounts and logins were stolen. Apparently, attackers were able to access OneLogin’s systems and copy encrypted user data as well as the keys required to decrypt that data, giving them access to user’s passwords. (You can read OneLogin’s blog post on this topic.) Read More



Marsha Blackburn & The Browser Act: What You Should Know

marsha-blackburnEarlier this year, House Republicans voted to retract milestone internet privacy protection laws that were put in place by the Obama Administration shortly before the end of Obama’s term. However, last week, Marsha Blackburn (R, Tennessee) proposed an alternative to these recent changes, called The Browser Act, which at least provides some sense of privacy protection. Read More