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The way to Take away Your Knowledge From Other people Seek Websites

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You might be able to remove your information from people search sites by going to each site and submitting a removal or deletion request. Or, you could look for tools and services that can monitor sites for your information and submit the requests on your behalf.

What Are People Search Sites?

People search sites are websites that collect, buy and sell information about people, such as someone’s age, date of birth, marital status, address, employment history, criminal record and information about family members.

Also called people finder websites, they gather information from public records, social media and other data brokers. Depending on the site, you may be able to view this information for free, buy a report on someone or get unlimited access with a paid subscription.

There are innocent reasons that you might want to use these sites. You might want to reconnect with an old friend or perform a background check before going on a first date. But people search sites also make it easier for hackers, identity thieves, stalkers and abusers to find and track victims.

How to Remove Your Information From People Search Sites

Removing your information from people search websites can be difficult and time consuming. Services like Experian’s personal privacy scan can help, and might even handle the entire process for some sites. But here are the general steps you can take if you want to go the DIY route.

1. Search Your Name

You could start by searching your name and looking for people search websites on the first few pages of results. Other people searching your name may see similar results, and this can give you a good list of sites to target once you start sending removal requests.

2. Check Common People Search Sites for Your Information

You can also search for your information on popular people search websites, such as:

  • BeenVerified
  • FamilyTreeNow
  • FastPeopleSearch
  • Instant Checkmate
  • Intelius
  • PeekYou
  • PeopleFinders
  • Pipl
  • Spokeo
  • TruthFinder
  • Whitepages

Searching for yourself can take a lot of time, especially when the sites make you go through multiple steps and add arbitrary loading screens and wait times.

You may be asked to pay to see all the results, but paying isn’t necessary if you just want to verify that the company has your information before sending an opt-out request.

The sites listed above are also only a small sample. You can find more complete lists on:

3. Tell the Company to Remove Your Information

Next, you can look for a way to send a request to each site to delete or suppress your information. The best option may be to search the company’s name along with terms like “remove,” “delete” and “opt-out.” The process can vary from one site to another, and the links to their opt-out or requests pages regularly change.

Additionally, here are a few things to keep in mind before starting:

  • Consider creating a new email account. People search sites might ask you to set up an account or verify an email address. Creating and using a new email account might help you stay organized and protect you from unwanted spam.
  • Some companies control multiple sites. For example, PeopleConnect runs Intelius, Instant Checkmate, Truthfinder and US Search. You can use the PeopleConnect Suppression Center to attempt to suppress your data from all those sites at once.
  • You may need to submit several requests. Some people search sites ask you to link to the URL with the profile that you want to remove. Name changes and typos could lead to you having several pages, and you may need to submit a request for each page.
  • Removing your information isn’t always possible. Submitting an opt-out, deletion or suppression request won’t necessarily remove all your information from the internet or the company’s databases. Some data comes from public records, which your request won’t affect. The company also might maintain certain records even if you ask it to delete your information.
  • Compliance isn’t guaranteed. Some of the companies have allegedly ignored consumers who dispute information about them as inaccurate. And, in some cases, allowed others to see results after a person asked for their info to be removed.

4. Wait and Check if Your Information Was Removed

It can take a few days, and sometimes longer, for the company to complete your request. After it does, your information shouldn’t appear in the company’s public results.

You can try to verify this by waiting a week and searching for your name on the website. You might want to use an incognito browser tab to get a better sense of what others will see.

5. Recheck the Sites in the Future

You may also want to recheck the sites in the future. Even if they delete or suppress your profile today, you could wind up back on the sites if there are new public records or other information.

You may want to repeat the process every few months because new people search websites are launched all the time. Some sites also might add info back into their results if they find new public records associated with or purchase new information about you from a data broker.

How to Protect Your Identity Going Forward

Removing yourself from people search websites can be an ongoing process. But there are a few things you can do to help protect your privacy and identity:

  • Limit what you share online. Try not to share a lot of personal information on social media. You can also review your social media accounts’ privacy settings to limit what other people can find.
  • Reduce your digital footprint. You can go look through old online accounts and delete accounts that you no longer want or use.
  • Use Experian’s personal privacy scan. Get a free one-time personal privacy scan to see if your information is on covered people finder sites. Experian members with a paid premium membership receive monthly scans and get help removing their information from the covered sites.
  • Sign up for identity theft protection. Look into identity protection services that monitor multiple databases. Some, including Experian’s monitoring for paid members, can alert you if your information is found on the dark web or in court records, and when there are changes in your credit reports and financial accounts. You also could receive identity theft insurance and recovery assistance.

You may have additional options if you’re trying to conceal your information because you’re worried about an abuser or stalker. For example, many states can create a substitute mailing address for you and forward your mail while keeping your actual address confidential. You can search for address confidentiality programs in your state to see if this is an option.

Learn more >> 10 Identity Protection Tools and Measures You Can Use

The Bottom Line

People finder sites buy, collect and sell data on millions of people. Your information might be on dozens of these websites, making it easy for someone else to learn more about you, contact you or steal your identity. Removing your information isn’t always easy. You can send requests to each of the sites or use programs that can look for your info and submit removal requests on your behalf. In either case, keeping your info off these sites can be an ongoing task.

Learn More About Removing Your Information Online

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