How To Protect Your Online Reputation And Privacy From People-Search Companies

online privacy lock

Whether you’re an avid Internet user or not, your personal data is most likely online, and it could be paying someone else’s mortgage. Privacy issues make headlines on a weekly basis, and the threats to your Internet reputation grow day by day. Below, you’ll learn how to remove your personal data from dozens of people-search services to protect your privacy and defend yourself against cybercrime.

It takes as little as 30 minutes to uncover your Social Security number using free resources. Employers use personal data to determine whether they want to hire you, and insurers to decide whether you qualify for coverage.

If you’re willing to invest a substantial amount of time and effort, there are steps you can take to protect your personal privacy from unscrupulous uses. These steps will also minimize your chances of falling victim to identity theft or cybercrime.  Read on, and learn how to protect your online reputation and privacy from people-search companies.

Learn the harsh reality: what you can and can’t do on your own

The unfortunate truth is that data mining, website scraping and information agglomeration techniques are becoming so sophisticated and pervasive that most individuals face a daunting task when trying to combat them on their own. In order to stay on top of the privacy protection game, you’ll need to be Web savvy and proactive about monitoring your online reputation and personal information.

Has your personal information been exposed online?Remove my information

That doesn’t mean you can’t do it on your own, but it will take a significant time investment. ReputationDefender’s privacy offerings were designed with this in mind, doing the opt-out for you and monitoring to keep your data protected.

If you’re willing to put in the time and elbow grease to opt out yourself, below is what you need to know to be successful.

Understand the different types of people-search services

There are four major types of personal information services online:

  • Extended phone directories: Companies such as WhitePages.com and SuperPages.com start with information available in the phone book, but they increasingly add additional information pulled from other sources.
  • Data aggregators: The subject of numerous articles in the press, data aggregator companies search the Internet and sometimes the Deep Web to collect information from your social media profiles, blogs and other sources.
  • Public record searches: Specializing in the publicly available information collected and stored by the government, these organizations compile data from a range of federal, state and municipal offices to create an amazingly thorough profile of your life.
  • Web trackers: Increasingly subject to scrutiny in the press, these companies compile information about what websites you visit and what you do on those websites, selling this behavioral data to third parties.

Depending on the type of service involved, the procedure for opting out will vary.

Ready to protect your identity & secure your private information?Protect my identity

Step 1: Web tracking opt-outs

If you’re planning to engage in privacy protection measures on your own, start with general Web tracking opt-outs, of which there are some free services that hit many at once.

  • Network Advertising has a simple opt-out form that’ll prevent common tracking cookies from being installed on your computer. This will take care of many web trackers.
  • The Google Privacy Center includes several tools to help you manage your online reputation and prevent Google websites from collecting your personal data.

Step 2: Opt-outs for individual sites

Next, remove yourself from the top people finders on the Internet. What follows is a list of people-search companies. Each listing is accompanied by information on the type of service it provides and instructions for opting out of its directory.

The data brokers below are listed according to their popularity in the Alexa Internet traffic rankings. The more popular the website, the more likely that someone will use it to try to find your personal information. Unfortunately, some of the most popular websites don’t offer individual opt-out procedures, but they’re still listed here for your reference.

Has your personal information been exposed online?Remove my information

123people.com

Type: Data aggregator

Procedure: Visit this link, and follow the steps provided.

Acxiom

Type: Data aggregator, web tracker

Procedure: Visit this link, and follow the steps for each of the three US opt-out programs.

AnyWho

Type: Extended phone directory

Ready to protect your identity & secure your private information?Protect my identity

Procedure: Find the listing on the AnyWho website, and click “Remove Listing.”

EmailFinder.com

Type: Public record search

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

InfoSpace

Type: Extended phone directory

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

InfoUSA.com

Type: Data aggregator, web tracker

Has your personal information been exposed online?Remove my information

Procedure: Call the company at (800) 321-0869.

Intelius

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

Melissa Data

Type: Data aggregator, web tracker

Procedure: None provided.

MyLife

Type: Data aggregator

Procedure: Call (888) 704-1900 or email privacy@mylife.com.

PeekYou

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

PeopleFinders.com

Ready to protect your identity & secure your private information?Protect my identity

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

PeopleSmart.com

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

Pipl

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: None provided.

Radaris

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Visit this link, and follow the on-screen instructions.

RapLeaf

Has your personal information been exposed online?Remove my information

Type: Web tracker

Procedure: Visit this link and enter your email addresses.

Spoke

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Unregistered Spoke users can click on the “This is Me” link on a profile page. Next, in the form provided, fill in your first and last name and an email address associated with the profile so that Spoke can verify your request.

Spokeo

Type: Data aggregator

Procedure: Visit this link, scroll down the page and enter the URL of the listing you would like removed.

SuperPages.com

Type: Extended phone directory

Procedure: Visit this link. In the drop-down “Select a Topic” list, click on “Add or Remove a Listing.”

Ready to protect your identity & secure your private information?Protect my identity

US Search

Type: Data aggregator, public record search

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

USA People Search

Type: Extended phone directory

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

Yahoo! People

Type: Extended phone directory

Procedure: Visit this link to fill out the opt-out form.

Yellowbook.com

Type: Extended phone directory

Has your personal information been exposed online?Remove my information

Procedure: No information for opting out provided. To update your personal listing, visit this link, scroll down to “General Inquiries” and click on “Go” to fill out an online form.

WhitePages.com

Type: Extended phone directory

Procedure: Visit the company website, search for your name, click on your directory listing, scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on “Is this you? Remove this listing,” and follow the on-screen instructions.

Wink

Type: Data aggregator

Procedure: Call (888) 704-1900 or email privacy@mylife.com(Wink is owned by MyLife.com).

Zabasearch

Type: Public record search

Procedure: Visit this link, and follow the on-screen instructions.

ZoomInfo

Type: Data aggregator

Procedure: Email remove@zoominfo.com the ZoomInfo URL where your profile appears. You don’t need to register for a ZoomInfo account.

The list above represents about 15 percent of the people-finder services on the Internet. For additional information on hundreds of other data brokers online, check out this extensive list compiled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.  Stay diligent in your quest for how to protect your online reputation and privacy from people-search companies.

Contact us for a free consultation

ReputationDefender® consultations are:

  • Free and without obligation
  • Discreet and confidential
  • Conducted by a reputation management expert
  • Tailored to your specific case

For immediate assistance, call: 877-492-5209 877-492-5209

 

Fill out the form and we will get back to you within one business day.