How to Become UnGoogleable

Posted on October 24, 2005

Wired has an article about people who are UnGoogleable and it isn't an easy status to attain. If you blog, email, chat, IM or are listed in the phonebook the chances are that you are probably already googleable meaning that a quick search on Google will turn up information about you.

These unGoogleables don't post online, blog, publish or build web pages using their own names. They're careful about revealing information to businesses, belong to few organizations that can leak personal data, and never submit online resumes -- all common ways that Google captures your data. They spoke to Wired News only on condition that their names be changed for this story.

Agalia says she visits online poker sites, but always enters false data not tied to her true identity. She limits online purchases and favors websites vetted by Truste and other privacy-monitoring groups. Presented with a sweepstakes offer at Legoland, Agalia said she backed out when she was required to submit personal information.

"I try to protect myself from identity theft," says Agalia, who says a would-be thief tried to use her credit card number a few months ago but got the expiration date wrong. "I shred bills, I don't give out information and I don't talk to telemarketers."

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse director Beth Givens offered some more advice:
"If you don't want to be found on Google, don't use your given name if you participate in chat or newsgroups, and for all of your e-mail addresses, don't use any part of your true name," advises Givens. "And for heaven sakes, have an unlisted phone number. Basic tip No. 1 to keep off Google is don't be listed in the White Pages."
One other trick is to have a very common name. For example, it would be difficult to narrow down information about a John Smith or a Jennifer Wilson.

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