Last updated: November 14, 2022
Internet being a large public place, your name necessarily appears there somewhere. This is a fact which may seem inevitable. Rather than giving up, you need to know that you are in control of these situations.
Here are some steps to follow to erase information about you on the Internet.
Erase information you have put on the Internet
We all posted a message, a photo, a video online one day that we now regret. At the beginning of the Internet, it was then difficult to foresee the misuse that would be made of our data. Some have for example lost their jobs for a photo posted on social networks.
The advantage is that we now have quite a bit of control over our content.
Remove your personal information from search engines
The first place anyone looking for information about you would likely try is a search engine, especially Google.
Google collect information from your actions. With all its services, the company is in theory able to tell you precisely where you were on June 6, 2021 (if you have authorized location on your smartphone, for example). We have written a full article about this allowing you to delete your personal data collected by Google
This aggressive collection by Google represents a high privacy risk as this data is available for sale to everyone. It is extremely important that you promptly request removal of your information if you find your name on Google.
For this purpose, complete this personal information deletion request form so that Google removes your information from its search engine.
Delete your social media information
Most social platforms provide a solution to delete content about you. For Facebook, for example, it's very easy to select one of your photos and delete it. This will cause an automatic deletion of posts linked to this image:
The operation is similar for other social networks. However, be careful to ensure that the information is deleted and not archived. In this second case, they could easily rise to the surface in the event of a leak or technical problem.
For the rest, it's very simple, but laborious. You just have to contact all the sites on which you are accustomed to going andenvoyer un mail requesting the deletion of all your personal data. The site will have a legal obligation to erase all traces of you and the history of your activities.
Erase information posted by third parties on the Internet
The hardest part about controlling your information on the Internet is getting the information posted by others deleted. The most frequent case remains the photos posted without our knowledge on social networks.
Take the example of a friend who posted an unpleasant photo of me during a night that was a little too drunk. He posts it on Facebook, and tags me on it. If my account is not correctly set, I might see the photo appear on my own wall.
The quickest solution will be to remove my ID from this photo. But the latter will remain on the Internet. In this specific case, I will therefore kindly ask my friend to delete it or to edit it so that I do not appear there.
In the worst case, I can report this photo to Facebook so that it is deleted.
Well, for the rest of the websites, it's exactly the same principle!
You just need to make the request to the site hosting the unwanted content in order for it to be removed. At the same time, you will have to make a request to the search engines so that this content is no longer referenced.
However, there are exceptions for which you cannot intervene directly. This is the case, for example, for articles published by media sites.
To have this type of post in your name removed, you will need to prove that this article undermines your integrity and is discriminatory. Suffice to say that you will not be able to remove an article and a photo presenting you as the regional petanque vice-champion.
Finally, it's all about time and patience. If you do not have one or the other, be aware that agencies specializing in online reputation can take care of the process for you. In return for financing of course.