Difficulty level: EASY Time: 2 hours
Data-mining websites like SPOKEO have increased our concern about privacy. Anyone can search for your name, city, and state to reveal a number of websites showing your private information and offering to sell it.
If you are concerned about your privacy, you can get yourself removed from these pages, it just takes a little work.
If your private information is on this website here is how to get removed:
- Go to www.spokeo.com and enter your name and city into the search box.
2. Check to see if any of the results are you and click on SEE RESULTS NOW. (there may be more than one, in which case you will have to repeat this process for all of them)
3. Copy the URL of the profile page.
4. Go to this and complete it. OPT OUT FORM
It will notify you to check your email. It is important you do that to complete the process. The email will confirm your request, click on the link and it will take you to a confirmation screen. Congratulations! Check back in 1-3 days and it should be removed. Repeat the process for all the listings. The site limits you to 5 so if there is more than 5 you will need to use a proxy server like TURBOHIDE to mask your IP address.
Unfortunately this is only one of several websites. Here is an incredibly useful page that has them all with links right to the OPTOUT pages. You will have to go through each one.
Even if you get personal information removed there may be other websites or search results showing this information still that you have not been able to remove. This includes sites like Bing, Yahoo, and Google. For example, if someone has posted sensitive information like social security number or a bank account information and the webmaster of the site won’t remove it, you can contact the search engine companies to have it removed from search results.
Here is GOOGLES URL removal tool that can help you delete specific URLs.
Remember to have patience. It takes time and you will have to check back regularly because these sites will often post new information.
To completely get yourself removed from the internet in the future, you will need to take drastic steps such as removing social media accounts. This website explains the 5 sources of personal information and what you need to do to protect yourself.