Whitepages Opt Out technical glitches are frustrating!

Whitepages Opt Out technical glitches are frustrating!

The sale of our personal data continues to be an increasingly lucrative business and simultaneously identity theft is growing rapidly. As such it has become even more important to remove our personal online information. Since directory sites prefer to hold onto our personal information in order to profit from it, they don’t often make it easy to opt out. They also change the opt out steps and include safety mechanisms to stop others from doing it on your behalf. As such, this tutorial replaces my two previous tutorials although there is overlap.

8/17/2015 WHITEPAGES HAS CHANGED THE OPT OUT PROCESS AGAIN. THIS TUTORIAL IS NO LONGER CORRECT. See updated version below.

Click here for the Updated Whitepages Tutorial!

WhitePages gives you the option to edit, hide or remove your information. Make the decision that works best for you but my preference is to get rid of as much as possible, and to that end, this tutorial follows that approach.

  • Click here to go to WhitePages. (It will open in another window so you can toggle back and forth from this tutorial.)
  • Enter your name and state and begin your search by clicking on the green magnifying glass. (If you have a common name, enter your city and state too) Since I am no longer in whitepages, I will use random people in this tutorial.

 

 A search will return a result in the format below:

Ads will be mixed into the whitepages results

Ads will be mixed into the whitepages results

  •  Notice “Sponsored” results from sites that want you to buy their data. I point this out to show the importance of removing your information from multiple popular sites. (To avoid confusion, come back to this when you finish what you’re doing with whitepages)
  • If you do not locate your information, vary the search parameters (former address, maiden names etc). If you still find nothing, either you previously opted out or there isn’t any data on you. Regardless of the reason, if you can’t find it, neither will anyone else. Congratulations! Your work is done and you need not go further.

If you do locate your information:

  • Click on “View Full Profile” – The screenshot below shows a sample profile for another Hayley Kaplan. (not me)
  • Then click “Claim/Edit.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 5.06.29 PM

  • At this point, I strongly recommend that you click on Create a WhitePages Account instead of logging in via Facebook. After all, the point of opting out is to increase privacy, not reduce it.
Avoid using Social Media to sign into other sites

Avoid using Social Media to sign into other sites

  • Once you have created your account, you will be asked to verify your account. Do so.
  • Check your email and click on the link in the whitepages email that says, “Verify my email.” That should take you to a screen that looks similar to the one below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 4.01.45 PM

  • Click “Yes, this is me.”
  • Next you will get a screen similar to the one below. Click on “Verify a Phone Number.”
Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 4.05.09 PM

Verify your phone number to claim your profile

  • Whitepages has technical glitches that cause inconsistent behavior at this point. It’s not uncommon to get an error message at this point. If this happens, log out of your account and then log back in.
  • Now you need to create a Caller ID profile which whitepages says is “to verify your information to help them ensure accuracy and prevent fraudulent changes to Whitepages information.” Don’t worry because you will eventually remove everything. Click on “Configure your Caller ID.”
  • Enter the phone number that is already on whitepages and then select verification by “call” or “Text/SMS”. I recommend selecting “call.” (Why provide a cell phone to add to the data they gather on you, right?)
    • If you don’t have a number listed, you’ll need to provide one to proceed. Use any number that you can answer immediately – it will disappear with your other information when you’re done.
Temporarily set up your CAller ID

Temporarily set up your CAller ID

  • When you click on the phone number, that phone will ring and you will be prompted to enter the number “1” to verify the phone number. Do so. (If you select the text option and provide your cell phone, you will get a text instead. Follow those directions)
  • You should get a message of success!
  • Click “Go to Accounts.” You should see a screen like the one below.
  • If you get another error (one of these days whitepages will get it straight) log out and log back into your account and pickup where you left off.

A sample directory listing. You may have multiple addresses listed here

 

  • Click “Remove me from the directory.”
  • You will get the notification below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 11.27.13 AM

 

 

  • Click “Remove my info.”
  • You should get the “Success” notification as pictured below:
confirmation of removal 2015-03-14 at 1.45.39 PM

You can always get added back. But why would you want to?

  • Logout so you can search for your information to verify your information has been hidden. (I suggest searching from an “Incognito” window to be sure that your old data is not being recalled in “cache” from your prior results.)

If you have difficulties or questions, feel free to email me or to leave details or questions in a comment. I will follow up as soon as possible. Sharing your experience and concerns in a comment will also allow me to make updates to this article which may in turn help others. Like raising children, maintaining our privacy takes a village. Let’s work towards leading safer and more private lives by helping each other along the way.

Until next time, … Stay Cyber Safe!

 

8 Responses to Opt Out of Whitepages – updated March 2015

  1. jc says:

    Premium WhitePages does not allow opting out of public records, only contact information. Any way around this?

    • Yes, there is a way around it. Premium whitepages is a frustrating new addition and I haven’t had a chance to update my article yet. In some cases, opting out of regular whitepages will remove you from both, but sometimes it won’t. I’ve found that all it takes is an email request to whitepages to be removed. Here’s the link https://support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. I’ve noticed a fairly quick response time from them so far. But that could change as they get inundated with removal requests. Please let me know if this works for you and how long it takes. 🙂 Hayley

  2. el adrel IV says:

    Hayley,
    Thanks for this guidance. I’ve located a record that I want to claim but the “claim/edit” tab doesn’t appear as shown in your image. I’ve signed up for an account but the tab still doesn’t appear. There’s a “Remove Record” option at the bottom of the page that then asks for the URL of the record. But then it forces me to make a customer support request for which I have to supply my email address because there is no phone number attached to the record. Do you have any further advice?
    Thanks.

    • This site is really frustrating because of inconsistencies similar to what you just experienced. Sometimes the process works flawlessly, and other times, it does not for no apparent reason other than what must be a technical issue on the whitepages end.

      If you email me privately with a phone number, I will call you and try to walk through it with you or I will do it for you, if it’s possible.

    • I just discovered whitepages has changed their removal method, yet again. I will need to update my tutorial (yet again) because they no longer have the “Claim/edit” tab and you are correct, they are asking for a URL. At first glance, I did not see a way to add a new phone number to the record but I will work on this next week and will get back to you with an answer. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
      – Hayley

  3. Lonnie G. says:

    Hi Hayley
    I would love to know how to protect my information on my iPhone when I am doing online banking. I love making deposits online rather than going to the bank. What do I need to do to make sure my info is safe? Thanks so much for your helpful articles.
    Lonnie

    • Good call, Lonnie.

      There are several products available and after doing research for myself, I selected and am using Bitdefender Total Security Multidevice 2015 on my Android phone and on my MacBookPro computer. (Bitdefender located, quarantined and deleted issues it located on my computer. My phone was fine.) My personal choice is to avoid using my phone for accessing my banking accounts, but many others do it successfully. If you’re going to do it, even with virus protection etc, make sure you look for all the signs of a legitimate login such as the sitekey image I get when I go to my online bank accounts.

      Here are a few additional general tips:

      – If your bank provides a mobile banking app, download it only from your bank’s official website.
      – Avoid accessing your bank account via your smartphone’s browser.
      – If your bank does not have a mobile banking app, avoid accessing your bank account via your smartphone’s browser if you don’t have mobile antivirus installed.
      – Avoid public Wi-Fi for financial transactions.
      – Turn off your bluetooth when not in use.
      – Update apps and operating system on your smartphone and browser to avoid security threats in older versions.

      Hope this helps.
      🙂 Hayley

  4. Philine says:

    Hayley,
    thank you so much for talking me through the problem and helping me get my information off the White pages. Your tips were great and the fact that you share information freely is terrific. It helps people like me navigate this maze….
    Philine

Leave a Reply to Lonnie G. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share →