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In a perfect world, we’d be able to remove all the unfair, outdated, and negative search results about ourselves.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



Twitter Updates Privacy Policy: Data Sharing Made Easier

Twitter Privacy PolicyIf you’ve logged into Twitter over the past few days, you were likely greeted with the following message upon sign in:

“We’re updating our privacy policy to bring you a more personalized experience. We’ll soon be making Twitter more relevant by using your visits to sites with Twitter content. And we’ve given you even more control over your data.”

This might come as a concern for some, and it should.  Read More