Google's New Search Alert Reveals When Your Personal Info Appears Online

In a bid to enhance user privacy and control over personal data, Google has announced three new privacy-focused updates to its flagship product, Google Search. These new features are not only designed to give users greater control over unwanted personal data online but also have the potential to make the world wide web a safer, better place.

One of the standout features of the recent update is the changes made to the "Results about you" tool. Introduced in 2022, this tool allows users to remove search results containing sensitive personal information, such as phone numbers, home addresses, or email addresses. With the latest enhancement, users now have the power to receive alerts whenever new personal information appears online, providing them with timely notifications to take appropriate action.

The new privacy-focused features on Google Search are easy to use. To get started, open the Google Search app and tap on your profile picture in the top right corner. Then, tap on "Privacy & Security" and scroll down to the "Results about you" section. From here, you can enable the "Get alerted about new results about you" feature and set your Safe Search preferences.

While the feature is currently limited to U.S. users and supports only English content, Google plans to expand this feature to more markets and languages in the future.

Updated policies on personal explicit images, new safe search blurring setting

Acknowledging the sensitive nature of explicit images and the potential harm they can cause to individuals, Google has taken steps to address concerns about accidental exposure to explicit and graphic content. The company has introduced an important update to its Safe Search feature, designed specifically for families.

For those unaware, Safe Search has long been an excellent tool for filtering explicit imagery from search results. With the latest enhancement, potentially explicit content will now be blurred by default, acting as a protective barrier against accidental encounters with inappropriate material.

The third feature is an update to Google's policies on personal explicit images — including non-consensual image sharing. These policies allow users to request that Google remove explicit images of themselves from search results. The new update essentially makes it easier for individual users to request the removal of these images from search results. The tool also has a provision for people to request that Google remove images of other people they believe are explicit.

It is important to note that removing explicit images in search results doesn't mean that those images are also deleted from the platforms hosting them. Nevertheless, these features are a welcome privacy-focused addition to Google Search.