Search engines are hungry for YOUR information. After all, this is the digital information age, and many businesses have discovered that your personal information is actually worth a lot of money. So, here are our top 5 tips for minimizing the information online databases collect about you, and how to limit the amount of unwanted content that will appear in your Google searches.
- Skip the Details
When you register as a user of any website or online service, provide the least amount of information you actually need to register. If possible, include only the names and email addresses of your contacts. This can be a catch 22- in order to rank web profiles in your Google search results, they must have a certain amount of content related to you, but most users also want to limit their privacy. Some websites will try to incentivize you with free gifts to give them more information, but don’t be fooled by their tricks. More often than not, seemingly free things online usually end up costing you.
A good compromise is to post “fine content” that is loose about you and your interests, but contains very little info specific to your personal and private life. Writing about hobbies, interests, or general professional info works great, just remember – don’t go online if you don’t want the whole world to see it. Even with privacy settings on the information has a way to spread. As a safe bet, don’t put your address, phone number, email or postal code on a public page if you can avoid it.
- Do a Security Check BEFORE You Pay
There are always a few things a savvy online shopper would check before entering sensitive personal financial data into a website. One of the most important things you can do is check if the site is safe.
To do this, simply look at the top of the screen bonus138 where the web address is displayed, and check http s:// in the web address, the “s” after “http” means the site is secure. Having a secure site means that data sent between you and a given website is being encrypted, or scrambled, so online thieves won’t be able to steal your information.
You should also check for the padlock displayed at the bottom of your web browser screen. When the lock is closed, you are on a secure site. If the lock opens on any page where you are asked to provide sensitive information, you should assume that the site is not secure, and we recommend not doing business with that entity.
- Have a Special Online Payment Method
If some of your financial data is stolen, you will be much better off if all your money is not in one place. We recommend having a credit card dedicated to your online shopping needs. Having a dedicated online card makes it easier to track and dispute any unauthorized transactions.
Another very popular alternative is to use an online payment service like PayPal or Checkout by Amazon. This service can eliminate a lot of risk when it comes to online payments. All of these services are armed with the latest anti-fraud technology to keep purchases safe. The only real downside of this online payment service is that there are still some web vendors out there that won’t accept it as payment.
- Quit the damn search database
This is perhaps the most important tip we offer in this article – get out of the people search database! Sites like Intelius, Spokeo, and Pipl scour the internet for public documents and other legally available information in local communities about you, the value of your home, your income, even your spending habits and political views. In fact, these sites may even have satellite photos of your home online. The database of people will then sell this personal information to marketing agencies which in turn will provide more targeted additions to consumers and try to make money off of you.
So where does this information come from? Oddly enough, it’s often not from the internet although social networks and online shopping services do scrape some of your information. No, most of this information comes from your local public records office. Signing up for a credit card, buying a car, or even paying a bill could mean your information will be shared with online databases. There are a number of rather shady online databases capable of extracting money from every last piece of information they find.
The solution? most of these databases are legally required to delete A . records nda from their database if you send them a formal request to delete your information. Everyone’s search database is slightly different – some require you to fax or fax, some require a simple phone call, and Intelius even requires you to fax a photo of your SIM to prove you are you. This may seem counterintuitive – faxing a private private document information company to delete your other info, but it’s actually completely safe and is only used as a verification method.
The only problem with this is that every 6 months you have to resubmit your request to remove info because new instances of your information will be found and added to the database. This can be very tedious, but the only real option for completely erasing the information is to contact the databases you display one by one until they delete your records, and there are hundreds of such sites out there.
If that doesn’t work, there’s always one last option we recommend…
- Feed Google!
If people searching databases are keeping you up at night, we believe the best thing you can do is develop a strong web presence by providing Google with safe and relevant information. This should be information that properly represents you to the world, and is content that you feel comfortable sharing.
As we just mentioned, you can spend hours trying to track down and eliminate your personal information from all online databases, and it could even reappear when people search sites find new info. The most effective way to ensure that people don’t find this data is to bury it far back in your search results using reputation management tactics.
Remember that people usually see no more than 2 pages in search engine results pages. This means that if you can fill the first two pages with links to sites full of positive information about yourself, no one will see your personal information! The good news in this arena is that these people’s search databases are often not SEO optimized so they can often easily get to the first few pages with our method.