What Information Is Available About Me Online?
Essentially, you should assume anything that's publicly accessible about you is available for purchase on the Internet. Any photo you've posted, any email address you may have listed, any phone number that can be found in the phone book, any address that's publicly available, and any public records you happen to be mentioned in. All of this can be collected, collated, and made available for sale.
Who Is Selling My Private Information?
Generally, there are two types of sellers of personal information. The first are "people" search engines offering information to anybody who cares to look you up. These often simply collect information that's publicly available and put it in one place; technically speaking, it's not the records they're selling but the service of finding and collating the records.
In short, in the modern era, your privacy is for sale to the highest bidder, often without your knowledge.
Why Is This Legal?
Under United States law, any records pertaining to government action, state, local, or federal, are accessible to the general public and are in the public domain. There are some protections in place for your privacy; you won't, for example, be able to find somebody's Social Security number from the government.
But anything else, from court records to real estate sales to school records, is potentially available to the general public. Unfortunately, public records laws simply have not been updated to reflect advances in technology or potential issues with public records being widely available.
Can I Protect My Reputation By Taking Myself Off Junk Mail Lists And Keeping My Number Unlisted?
Can I Force These Sites To Remove My Records? What If They've Been Sealed By Court Order?
You can request that your records be removed, but the process varies and is often deliberately designed to be difficult for you to do so. Some sites may also try to charge a fee for the "service." And, most annoyingly, they may decide to add your records again anyway, due to a minor change, and you'll be right back where you started.
Unfortunately, most public record sites do not track whether records they publish are later sealed by a judge or another entity, so personal information that should be out of the public eye may still be out there.
How Can ReputationDefender's Reputation Protection Help Me?
First of all, we've divided MyPrivacy into a suite of different tools designed for the differing needs of our clients. They offer differing levels of search and protection depending on your personal and professional needs.
For example, our most basic tier, which is offered for free, scans the Internet for the personal data you provide us and tells you if it's being sold by "people" search engines and other sites, allows you to monitor your search results, and send you alerts when you're mentioned online.
Our Pro service, available for a small fee, will automate the process of records removal, and just as importantly, keep that information off those sites; it simply blocks any attempts to add the records by immediately issuing a takedown request. It'll also allow you to reduce junk mail and telemarketing calls, so you can get on with your life.
The top tier is our ExecutivePrivacy Program, designed for executives and other VIPs. In addition to the above automation and software, we offer tools to remove online tracking materials such as cookies, offer personalized reports, and a centralized dashboard for both yourself and other executives to ensure everything is in one place.
Which Privacy Tool Is Right For Me?
That will depend heavily on your needs. For example, if you don't have much of a reputation on the Internet and generally just want to keep a low profile, our free service is ideal; you'll be able to easily track what's being said about you, if anything, and you can always upgrade if there's information you need to remove.
The Pro tier is ideal for those who may be actively dealing with a smear campaign or want to keep their public records off the Internet to protect the safety of themselves and their families. Finally, the executive tier is ideal for those who need to maintain an entirely professional presence online; if you're trying to keep any information found about you limited to your business, ReputationDefender will be able to ensure that happens.
Who Should Use These Tools?
Anyone concerned about their privacy or the information available about them out there. ReputationDefender, ReputationDefender® and MyPrivacy were built to ensure that everyone is allowed to define themselves and what the world know about them, and our privacy products continue that tradition. If you want to be defined by who you are, not what the Internet can find about you, contact ReputationDefender today. We'll be your reputation protector.