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Scary reason why you should blur your house out on Google Street View

Scary reason why you should blur your house out on Google Street View

If you're nervous about online privacy, you might want to look into this.

We're not sure what we ever did before Google Street View.

It helps you explore neighborhoods from the comfort of your own home - particularly useful if you're trying to scope out parking for somewhere new, or are curious to see what someone's house looks like.

But with all the benefits - particularly if you're nosy - there are also some questions around privacy and security.

You'll probably recognise the Google Street View car whizzing about. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images
You'll probably recognise the Google Street View car whizzing about. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

After all, is it possible that you're giving away too much information by having your home easily findable on Google?

When you think about it, it's a bit weird that a complete stranger can take a look at where you live - finding out what colour door you have, how many windows there are and so much more.

Google Street View was launched in 2007, with the tech company saying it was a way to "create a 360-degree map of the world".

It's certainly on its way to doing that - with 220 billion images captured across 100 countries and territories, largely captured by the Google car with the mounted camera on top zipping around. You can even explore the International Space Station - and its outlook down to Earth - on Street View.

Concerns have been raised around Street View in the past, causing it to optimize the service - such as blurring out faces of any people who are caught on camera, so they're not recognizable.

There are many reasons why you might not want your house to appear on Street View - maybe you don't want a stalker learning more about you, or you just feel weird about strangers being able to virtually peek through your windows.

Luckily, there is a way to opt out and blur your house - but it's important to note that this is a permanent change, and one you can't reverse when it's done.

This is what the form looks like if you want to blur out your house.

If you still want to go ahead with it, open up Google Maps and input your home address. Enter Street View as you would normally - by dragging the yellow human icon on the bottom right of the screen onto the map.

When you've got your house in view, click 'Report a problem' on the bottom right. Make sure the address is correct and adjust the image preview to focus on your house.

There you will have the option to 'Request blurring' - and you can tap the option for your house. You'll have to explain why you want it blurred - here, you can pop in any explanation that works for you, such as citing privacy or safety issues.

Finally, submit the form, and it's off for Google to review. You might get a follow-up from the tech giant asking for more information, but otherwise you should subsequently find your home hidden from Street View.

Google says it takes a "number of steps to protect the privacy of individuals when Street View imagery is published to Google Maps".

These include the ability to blur license plates, identifiable faces and houses.

The tech giant says: "If you see that your face or license plate requires additional blurring, or if you would like us to blur your entire house, car, or body, submit a request using the 'Report a problem' tool."

Featured Image Credit: Google Street View / Rapeepong Puttakumwong/ Getty Images