Learn how to remove public records from Google with our complete guide.
Looking for information about you on the internet
In case you search for yourself on Google, you may encounter something you don’t want the general public to see. Perhaps it’s something you posted to social media years ago or data about some trouble you got into while you were younger. You may also find personal information like your house address and cellphone number — stuff you don’t want strangers to know.
That’s why protecting tabs on yourself through search engines like Google is essential. If you make a proper search and you know what to look for, you will be able to find a lot of sensitive information about your personal life or an old court record that you would never know exist and are available in public.
After you make your research and you see what Google results are showing about you, you will most probably want to remove or hide all the unflattering and private information. In case you want to spend some time and protect your online privacy, you will be able to take some steps and delete your data from the search engine result pages.
Why do public records of today differ from those of the past?
Public records remained standard and there is nothing new about them, however, the accessibility level and the amount of information online collectors are having are producing some ‘modern problems’.
In the past, a person that wanted to have access to that information had to physically go to a government office in order to make and submit a formal request. More informed people or individuals who had previous experience with such things will know they have to visit multiple offices, and building in order to finally get the requested information.
Years later, in today’s world, there are a lot of broker websites that are making this process a lot easier and removing all legwork that used to make this barrier. With all information available online right now all you have to do is search for your information online and you will be able to see everything without actually leaving your house.
These modern processes made a lot of people feel uncomfortable and insecure about the personal information that is floating on the internet and a lot of them would like to learn how to remove public records from the internet space.
Benefits of Removing Public Court Records Available Online
Expungement, what it is?
The authorized process of sealing your criminal records from public view is called an expungement. This will protect your privacy and suggests that you will be able to take advantage of school, job, and other opportunities that were previously unavailable because of the arrest records and charges that will show up if someone is checking your criminal background.
You can consider an expungement as an investment in your future because this process will delete information from your past that is not accurate anymore and is not representing the person who you are now.
Here are some of the benefits that you will get in case you remove court records from the internet space and try to protect your online reputation:
Better Job Opportunities
In case you are on a job hunt, you most probably realized how hard it can be to search for an ideal job if you have a criminal record that went against state or federal law and it appears on Google search results. For those who manage to get a job, it’s most likely not the kind of work (or pay) you actually need.
Some charges and convictions instantly disqualify you for government jobs that offer nice salaries and advantages. Sure, you’ll be able to seek a job that doesn’t require a background test (which is getting rarer and rarer), however, those jobs might not provide enough income for you to pay the bills.
Instead of working multiple low-paying jobs, it will be a great option to invest in yourself with an expungement. After your court record is sealed, you legally don’t need to disclose the incident on job applications and you will be able to apply for the jobs that you really want and you can do that with confidence.
In order to start a new career, many people make the decision to go to college. Your legal records can become a big barrier if your education involves going to graduate school.
Most of the graduate programs and opportunities are very hard and competitive to get into. One important factor that will decide between you and another candidate who, in all other ways, is equal to you is your criminal record.
Because of this reason, removing court records, and federal court proceedings from web search results will be of crucial importance if you want to return to school and start your dream career.
Remove the Stigma
As you progress past your mistake and you no longer identify as the person you once were, the burden of your conviction and online court records can take a toll. Probably the most impactful advantage of expunging your felony record is simply removing the load and stigma of your record.
If you remove public court records you’ll no longer have to stress about individuals discovering your past. You are not going to care what people will think of you in case they discover that you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense. You’ll finally be able to breathe easy realizing that your public record matches the individual you are now.
More Housing options
Right before signing a rental agreement, many landlords in Oklahoma for example make a background check on their potential tenants. All of the court records and other public information are very easy to obtain and regardless of how long ago it happened the landlords are very cautious about renting their property to someone with a criminal past.
With an expungement (court records removed), you will be able to open the door to more and better rental options or property ownership for you personally and your family as well.
Starting a family or expanding it
Your criminal record will become a barrier that you cannot overcome in case you consider foster parenting or adoption in order to grow your family. The Department of Human Services will make a detailed background check on foster parent candidates in most cases. In case you have a criminal record appearing on open public records databases you should know it will be very hard to get approved or better said it will be almost impossible.
Public Assistance – Assistance programs
People who had felony convictions in past can face some “collateral consequences” because of their conviction, which means they may be punished even after completing their sentence. As an example, many states do not grant TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) which is also known as food stamps for the people charged with drug convictions felony.
You need to know that expungements will make you qualify for essential assistance in case you or your family really need it.
Lowering your Insurance Premiums
Your car insurance premiums will rise in case you have some charges, such as a DUI. An expungement is going to help you and lower those premiums which means that you are going to save a nice amount of money over time.
The process of expungement will also make you eligible for a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), which is not going to be possible with a DUI conviction.
Making a Difference in Your Community
You will need to know that having a clean criminal history will make you eligible for all youth volunteer positions (Little League, Boy Scouts, Pop Warner, and more). Expungements will make you able to improve your community through mentoring, volunteering, or chaperoning school events for your kids or grandkids.
All of us have a family member, coworker, or a nosy neighbor who enjoys sticking their nose in other businesses. Everyone who is trying to find something about you online will be able to see your criminal record as well.
One way to fight against this and to protect your privacy will be expungement because it will delete all unwanted information related to you on the internet. This process will remove from public access every trace of your criminal history which will make you feel a lot more comfortable.
Removing your public records from Google
Can Public records be removed?
It is important to know that removing some information such as mugshots, marriage licenses, or court records will not be impossible. If you want to try and test your luck you can call your county clerk’s office and ask if some of your information on the internet can be altered or redacted by the county clerk.
If you are looking for a guide to removing other information from the internet on your own without paying reputation management firms we have some steps that you will need to take in order to successfully finish this task.
Removing your location from Google maps
With Google maps and Street View you will be able to ‘walk’ around and visit some interesting places. Some people don’t want photos of their house and address number to be visible on these applications. If you are one of those people who want to protect their privacy you need to know that you can always request a privacy blur over pictures of your vehicle or your home.
You will need to go to Google Maps or Street View gallery and look for your address. Once you find the right address you need to open the Street View photo you want to get blurred. Please keep in mind that the image has to show your home, license plate, face, or any other identifying information in order to qualify.
Go to the bottom right and click ‘Report a problem’, it will show up a form, and once you fill out that form just click ‘Submit’. After the photo is reported and then blurred there is no chance for Google to bring it back to its original form. Because of that reason make sure that you want to remove that picture before submitting your request.
Lock your social media accounts and make them private
Over 90% of information about you online is coming from google’s search results and the social media platforms that you are using. You will need to update your privacy settings and lock your previous and future updates to just family and friends.
On Facebook, you will need to open the settings menu (in the top right corner) and click on Settings and Privacy > Settings. You should click on “Privacy” (in the left menu) and under “Your Activity” you will be able to see “Who can see your future posts?” and there you will need to add “Friends” as your preferred group. In this menu, you will be able to restrict your past posts also.
You will notice at the bottom of the page “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?” and here you need to click “Edit” and unmark the checkbox.
For those who are looking to restrict their Instagram account, they will need to open their profile and click the three-line icon which is in the top right corner. A menu will appear and you will need to click “Settings” at the bottom of the menu that will appear and then click “Privacy” and under Account privacy, you will need to select Private Account ON!
Twitter users operating on a computer who want to update their privacy will need to click more in the left-hand menu and choose “Settings and privacy”. After you select “Privacy and safety” you need to go to “Audience and tagging” and there you will need to click on the checkbox which is next to “Protect your Tweets”.
Removing information from third party websites
People who will find personal information about them published on a third-party website will need to contact the webmaster in order for their information to be removed. Try to find the “Contact Us” link or email address added on the website (usually on the bottom of websites) or try to search for the web owner using Whois.
Once you reach the webmaster you will need to explain the situation and politely ask him to remove your personal information from their website. If the information shared is copyrighted, you will be able to reference the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and then request a removal.
If your personal information is shared by someone else like on an internet forum, you will need to contact the forum owners directly, and after you reach them try to explain why you would like the information to be removed from their forum.
You will need to know that this process will be time-consuming and there is no guarantee that the process is going to be successful.
Removing your info from people search sites
You need to know that people’s search sites are collecting data on millions of people worldwide and then they are selling that information to the one who will offer the most money. There is an option for you to opt out of these search websites but you will need to take some steps in order to do it properly.
Most common websites that you should consider removing your info from are – Intelius together with their sister websites Classmates.com, Peoplelookup, iSearch, ZabaSearch, and Public Records. Other important websites that you should consider are – Whitepages and BeenVerified.
If you are looking for step-by-step guides in order to remove your info from these people search sites you will need to look for them individually on the internet.
Bonus tip: Delete your Google history
Right now is the best time to check your Google privacy settings if you didn’t do that in a while. Some of the information that is staying there (locations, searches, and voice messages) will probably surprise you. Always remember to keep it clean and it is best to make that your habit.
How can I improve my chances of having my court records sealed?
If you want to increase the chances that the court will grant the expungement or sealing request you will need to ask for limiting the removal request. This means that only necessary information will be removed (certain sections or documents) and everything else that is not giving away your personal information can remain on the internet.
With this action, you will increase your chances that the court will grant a removal of your info from the internet and you don’t have to go through the whole process that will drain your energy and budget.
Need more help with getting your information off Google? Click here for our help!