Some websites access public records containing our personal information and then share it for free or via paid reports. I don’t know how to remove original information from public sources, however, I do know how to opt out of sites that access public records to prevent my information from showing up in search results. That said, I can permanently remove information from one website only for it to appear on another. So… why remove it in the first place?
I remove my personal information from certain sites to make it harder for people to locate in much the same way that locking a front door or using an alarm system deters robbers from entering a home. Wouldn’t a thief prefer to enter a home through an unlocked door rather than go through the time and effort of getting through a locked door or setting off an alarm ? If my information isn’t easily accessible, perhaps the “intruder” will give up or move onto someone else. I don’t want curious busybodies cyberstalking my private information simply because it’s easy to locate. Do you? Prior articles have covered opting out of Spokeo, Instantcheckmate and Whitepages. Today’s article shows how to opt out of Peoplefinders.
Please proceed step by step and click on links which will open in another window. Toggle back and forth to this article to follow along easily.
1. Go to Peoplefinders by clicking here.
2. Search for yourself by entering your first name, last name, city and state and in the People Search box and then click “Search.”
3. Identify the search results that appear to be your own and write down the exact spelling of the profile that appears to belong to you. (Do this even if the results appear to be in the form of an advertisement) Sometimes you know the profile is yours even though there are typographical errors in the name as well as accuracy errors in the content that follows. Next, read through Step 4 before doing anything, please.
** If you do not find results belonging to you, first try changing the search slightly (use first name initial only, for example) or try searching via other options such as home or business address, email address, social security number and name, or background check. After I opted myself out, I was delighted to find I could not find information about myself via any of those options, with the exception of Social Security/Name which was an option I was not comfortable testing.
4. If you click the “View Details” button, you will have options to purchase detailed reports. THERE IS NO NEED TO DO THIS BECAUSE IF YOU OPT OUT OF THIS SEARCH ENGINE, NO ONE ELSE WILL BE ABLE TO VIEW OR PAY FOR THE REPORTS EITHER.
5. Once you’ve located your personal information and decided to remove it from peoplefinders, click here to begin the opt out process.
6. Type your name exactly as you noted it in Step 3 and click, “Find My Listing.” Claim a single result belonging to you by clicking “This is me.” (You will need to repeat the entire process for each result belonging to you, one result at a time)
7. Select “Opt out my info” to disappear from peoplefinder. If you appeared in more than one result, remember to go back to Step 5 for each result.
8. Before you can block your records, you’ll need to read disclaimers, check a box and enter a security code. Then click “Continue.”
9. Next peoplefinders will make one more effort to make money from you. You will get an option to pay almost $50 for a background report or you can skip that step and move on. I moved on and got the rewarding message below:
10. Go back to Step 5 and repeat until none of your information can be found. I only had to repeat the process twice.
Congratulations on fighting for your privacy and making it that much harder for your private information to get into the wrong hands.
Until next time,… Stay Cyber Safe.