Take your phone number out of Google

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Concerned about your privacy? One proactive step you can take is to remove your phone number from Google PhoneBook.To remove your residential listing information from the Google phonebook, please fill out the form below, entering all information exactly as it appears in your phonebook entry. Doing so will mean your residential listing does not appear in Google for any phonebook search, even searches conducted on your name instead of your phone number. Please note that this removal is permanent and that it’s not possible to add your phone number again in the future.

As you may know, typing a residential phone number into a Google Search bar (though not the Google Toolbar) performs a reverse lookup that lists your name, address and even a link to a Google Map of your address. Fortunately, Google gives you the option of removing all your residential listing information–all you have to do is fill out a short form and wait 48 hours. Granted, there are countless other services out there that offer reverse phone lookups, but Google is a household name and therefore a good place to start.

Some people are concerned about having their information available on the internet. Is this concern valid? To a degree, yes. Try this: type your full phone number in as a Google search (include the area code). For most people with a published phone number, Google will come back with your name, address, and even a link that will show a map of where you live. That link can even display a satellite image of your house.

If you don’t like being that “exposed”, there is a small step you can take. Just click on the link that says “Phonebook results for”. On the next page you will see an option that says, “Request to have your name removed from this list”. On the next page, here is what Google will tell you:

Removal can take 48 hours. Of course, you should realize that this is not exactly the equivalent of the Witness Protection Program. There are multitudes of other ways that people can find you on the net. But it’s a step in the right direction if you are concerned about too much information being made public.

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