Unveiling Google’s Personal Info Cleanup

Unveiling Google's 'About You' Feature

Who has never been on the search engine box on Google before writing her/his name and pressing the ‘enter’ button. Even the keyboard can feel the pain due to the force and pressure you’ve put on the ‘enter’ button, with the full-on confidence that your name will be the headlines of the websites.

But what if you don’t like what you see? Don’t worry, because Google announced the “About You” Feature that helps you to control your published information and personal data about ‘You’ to the ‘World’. It technically allows you to see what information about you appears in Google Search results and gives you the power to remove that information if you want to.

Your guide to digital privacy. How to turn on Results “About You”:

  1. Visit the “Results About You” activity page.
  2. Click on “Get Started” and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Google will request you to input any contact details you want to be monitored. You can add multiple names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  4. Confirm the provided information and choose your preferred notification method. Google can either send the results to your associated email or send push notifications to your linked devices.
  5. Google will automatically examine Search results for your personal information and alert you if it discovers anything. The initial scan might take a few hours, as per the company.
  6. You can revisit the “Results About You” page at any time to make changes to your contact information.

The power of ‘YOU’

Of course, you need to be logged into your Google account first and then adjust all the ‘About You’ information. With the power of adjusting all the information you want to be known for, you’re managing your privacy online.

Then, Google will review your request and remove the information from the Search results IF it meets their criteria for removal. So, you’ll not enjoy harnessing that power for a long period of time.

‘Alerts about you’

To add up on the feature above, Google also offers “Alerts about you” feature that can alert you when new results with your contact information appear in Google Search. You can opt into this feature in the Results “About You” dashboard.

The story behind the “Google Alert”

It was created by Naga Kataru, a Google engineer who was tired of checking manually the Google News to receive updates on the US invasion of Iraq. What he did was develop a system that would email him automatically whenever new information was available and voila!

Google Alerts is born.

It was launched on August 6, 2003. And since then, it became a popular tool to stay updated on a variety of topics. It’s also used by businesses to monitor the web for mentions of their brand or products.  

And guess what? Both of the ‘About You’ and ‘Google Alerts’ are free!


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