How to remove yourself from the top people-search sites (2018 update)

angry woman with a laptop

There are hundreds of websites that provide your personal information to anybody on the Internet. Known as people-finder, people-search, or whitepages sites, some of the most common ones include Spokeo, MyLife, PeopleSmart, US Search, Intelius, Whitepages, Radaris.

In this article, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from these sites. They each have site-specific opt-out instructions, and we’ll walk you through all of them. We’ll also show you some common pitfalls you need to watch out for as you go through the process.

Why do people-search sites have my data?

People-finder sites crawl the web, scanning for information they can use to construct personal profiles of individuals. They get their initial data from public records published by the government. Then, they flesh the profiles out with information from social media posts, news articles, marketing databases, and more.

Because all of the information on these sites is publicly available, the sites aren’t technically violating any privacy laws by reposting it.

But even if it is legal, it is understandably an unnerving experience to see your personal information on these sites. Many of them reveal:

  • Your name and names of relatives
  • Addresses and aerial satellite home photos
  • Phone numbers and previous addresses
  • Financial information and work history
  • Age and date of birth
Has your personal information been exposed online? Remove my information

Many of these sites compile enough information about you to let someone guess the answers to common password-reset questions, creating a serious security risk. Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions we get at ReputationDefender is how to remove your information from people-search sites.

Before you start: get a disposable email account

Many people-finder sites require you to register for an account or claim your profile in order to remove it. This usually involves signing up with an email address.

Your goal is to get off these sites—not to sign up for their marketing email lists—so you’ll want to avoid using your regular email address.

Instead, create a brand-new account, such as yourname-removals@gmail.com, that you will only use for the removal process. You can use any email provider you like, just make sure don’t use an email address you might need for something else.

Site-specific removal instructions

Spokeo

Spokeo provides an opt-out process that is fairly straightforward:

  1. Go to Spokeo.com and search for your name.
  2. Right-click on the listing you want to remove.
  3. Select “Copy link address” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Go to their opt-out page.
  5. Paste the URL into the “Enter URL here” box, and use the email you created above for the email address box.
    Screen shot of where to enter URL for profile removal on Spokeo
  6. Click “Remove This Listing” (you may get an “I am not a robot” prompt).
  7. Open the confirmation email and click the link at the bottom.
Ready to protect your identity & secure your private information? Protect my identity

Note: You may have multiple profiles on Spokeo. Often, variations of your name or address will generate new profiles. To ensure you remove all your profiles, search different combinations of your name for every city you’ve lived in.

MyLife

To remove yourself from MyLife, follow these steps:

  1. Visit your profile on MyLife.com. (There may be more than one.)Screen shot of MyLife search field
  2. Click on “This is me” and “See Reputation Score.”Screen shot of MyLife search results
  3. Select “See My Background & Reputation Score.”
  4. Continue through the claiming process, removing personal information to the greatest extent possible, and using your disposable email.

You then have two options for removing your profile completely:

1. Remove your profile by phone

Call MyLife customer support at 1-888-704-1900 and tell them that you’d like to delete your profile(s). Have the following information handy:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Email
  • Current address
  • At least one previous address

Tell them that you want your listing removed from their site and affiliated sites, and provide the information that they ask for.

2. Remove your profile via email

Send a note to privacy@mylife.com. For example:Screen shot of sample opt-out email for MyLife

PeopleSmart

To remove yourself from PeopleSmart:

  1. Visit PeopleSmart’s opt-out tool.PeopleSmart opt-out tool
  2. Fill out the requested information.
  3. Click the profile that most closely resembles you.
  4. Choose “Yourself” from the pop-up screen and click “Submit.”
  5. Enter the special email address you created earlier and complete the form.
  6. Open the confirmation email and click the “Complete Opt-Out” button at the bottom.
Has your personal information been exposed online? Remove my information

Intelius

Intelius removals are fairly simple.

  1. Go to the site’s opt-out page.
  2. Enter the information and click “Search.”
  3. Select the record you want to remove.Screen shot of Intelius record
  4. Enter the email address you created earlier and complete the form.
  5. Open the confirmation email and click the link at the bottom.Screen shot of Intelius confirmation email

It takes about seven days for Intelius to delete your personal information. For more information, see our article specifically on Intelius removals.

US Search

Intelius purchased US Search in 2010. As such, US Search and Intelius use the same online opt-out form and procedures.

  1. Go to the opt-out page.
  2. Enter the information and click “Search.”
  3. Select the record you want to remove.
  4. Enter the email address you created earlier and complete the form.
  5. Open the confirmation email and click the link at the bottom.

Your content should disappear within seven business days.

WhitePages

The following instructions are for removing personal information only. If you want to delete businesses information, you can do so by filling out a service ticket.Screen shot of WhitePages service ticket

However, because WhitePages.com gets its business information exclusively from third-party sources, such as Infogroup/Express Update, it’s a good idea to contact these firms directly to remove your business details from as many sites as possible.

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

To remove your personal information from WhitePages.com, follow these steps:

  1. Search for yourself on the site by entering your first and last name, along with your city and state.Screen shot of WhitePages search field
  2. Scroll down past the Premium Results to find your listing.
  3. Click “View Details.”Screen shot of WhitePages premium results
  4. Confirm that this is the correct listing by verifying your address and phone number.
  5. Copy the URL for the listing, paste it into the site’s Opt-Out page, and click “Opt Out.”Screen shot of WhitePages opt-out button
  6. Click “Remove me” on the confirmation page that pops up.
  7. Select a reason for your removal request from the drop-down menu, and click “Submit.”
  8. Enter your telephone number, check the affirmation box, and click “Call Now to Verify.” You will receive a four-digit code.
  9. Follow the instructions and input the code when prompted during the authorization phone call.

The page should update with a confirmation that WhitePages is processing your removal request. For more detailed information, see our guide How to Remove Your Information from the WhitePages.

Radaris

To remove your information from Radaris, you need to claim your profile and then “hide” it from public view.

  1. Enter your first and last name, as well as your city and state, into the search form.Screen shot of Radaris search field
  2. Choose the profile that most closely resembles you on the results page that appears.
  3. On your profile page, click the down-arrow by the orange Background Check & Contact Info button and choose “Control Info” from the drop-down menu.Screen shot of Radaris Control Info selection
  4. From the information control page, choose “Control Info.”
  5. Create an account, or log in if you already have one.

From here, you can either remove all your information or just delete certain records.

To hide all information:

  1. Confirm your real name matches your account and profile name.
  2. Enter your cell phone number to obtain a verification code.
  3. Enter the code to make the profile private.

To hide specific records:

  1. Enter your name, email, the reason you want the record hidden, and the captcha code.
  2. Click “Submit” to receive an email containing your confirmation link.
  3. Click the email link. This completes the request.

Most requests are completed within 48 hours. Radaris will send you an email when it has hidden the records.

For more information, see our in-depth article How to opt out of Radaris and protect your privacy.

Has your personal information been exposed online? Remove my information

Additional things to watch for

Unfortunately, getting people-finder sites out of your life is more complicated than simply issuing a few removal requests. These sites have a vested interest in making it as hard as possible to truly get your information removed, and there are a few pitfalls you need to watch for:

  • Upsells: Oftentimes, they’ll try to sell you a subscription to one of their products during the opt-out process. Read all the fine print carefully. It should never cost you anything to get off of a people-finder site.
  • Name variations: These sites usually make multiple profiles for the same person under different name variations. You’ll need to do a thorough search on each site to find all of your potential profiles.
  • Recreated profiles: If some new piece of information about you appears online, or if someone with a similar name moves to a new address, a new profile may get created for you automatically. That’s because most of these people-finder sites assume all variations are a brand-new person. You’ll have to go through the opt-out process again.

Automatic, ongoing opt-outs

As you can see, protecting your privacy from people-finder sites requires a fair amount of sleuthing and ongoing monitoring. The amount of time involved is discouraging for many people. That’s why ReputationDefender offers a suite of privacy services that process opt-outs for you across dozens of people-search sites, monitoring for any new profiles on a regular basis. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re also happy to answer any other questions you might have about people-finder sites or your online privacy.

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

 

Working...Thank You!