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Google will now remove your phone number and other information from the search results. Here’s how to do it.

Google now allows people to remove their personal contact information – phone numbers, physical addresses and email addresses – from their search results. The Alphabet-owned search giant said Wednesday it is making the change to protect users from “unwanted direct contact or even physical harm.”

Google said it had previously allowed people to request the removal of some specific types of information, but that the new policy represents a broader attempt to help protect personal data for users. Prior to the new policy, people could ask to have more specific information removed, such as bank account or credit card numbers.

The change comes amid a rise in online fraud. The Federal Trade Commission reports that consumers lost $ 5.8 billion to scammers last year, a 70% jump from the year before. Much of that fraud is committed through online scams, such as romance scamas well as about phone calls and identity theft.

“[T]The Internet is constantly evolving – with information popping up in unexpected places and being used in new ways – so our policies and protections must also evolve, “said Michelle Chang, global policy lead for search at Google, in a blog post about new policies.

Google noted that removing the information can also protect people from doxxing, which is when personal information such as emails or addresses are shared publicly with malicious intent, such as to encourage online harassment.

How to get your personal information removed from Google searches.

What will Google remove from its search results?

Google said it will now remove personal contact information from its search results, including your phone number, email address or physical address.

Previously, the company only allowed people to ask for more confidential personal data to be removed, such as CPR numbers, bank account and credit card numbers, photos of personal signatures, and medical records.

How do I ask Google to remove my phone number and other personal information?

Visit this Google site to start the process. The page will ask you to enter the URLs that contain the information you want removed from Google’s search results.

What happens after I ask Google to remove my information?

Google says you will receive an automated response confirming that it has received your request. The search platform will then review the request and possibly ask for more information. For example, if the request is missing a URL, it will ask you to correct it and resubmit the application.

Next, Google will notify you if it takes action. For example, it may remove URLs from all search queries, or it may remove them from specific queries that include your name or other personal data.

Will Google give the green light to all requests?

No. Google said it will evaluate all requests to ensure it does not restrict broadly useful content, such as news articles. It will also examine whether the content is part of the public record, such as public files. In that case, Google says it will not remove the data from the search results either.

If Google removes my personal data, will it disappear from the Internet?

No. Google warns that removing content from its search results does not mean that it is away from the wider Internet. To ensure that all information is scrubbed, you will also contact any hosting site where your information is displayed and ask the company to remove it.

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