We all have enormous amounts of personal information on the Internet.
From names, addresses, phone numbers and work histories to marital status, property records, court docs and more, big parts of our lives are available on the web – whether we like it or not.
And while a lot of that information is placed there willingly (think Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social sites), even more can be found in public records, providing hundreds of data brokers free rein to collect, aggregate and sell your sensitive data to anyone searching your name.
But while people search engines work nonstop to find and advertise your sensitive info, all hope is not lost. In fact, you do have options for retaking control of your data, your personal privacy and your family’s online safety.
Here’s a look at how to opt out of Intelius, Peoplesmart.com, White Pages and other top people search sites – and take a major step toward a safer, more positive online reputation.
First, what does it mean to opt out of people search sites?
Opting out of people search sites like Peoplesmart.com and Intelius is the process of scrubbing your personal info from each online platform, ensuring your name, address and contact info is no longer available during searches of your name. Done over time, a proactive personal data removal strategy is essential to keeping your sensitive data out of view and protecting your family’s personal privacy.
There are hundreds of data-search companies now selling your personal info online, though each data broker has a unique ‘opt out’ procedure for deleting your personal information. Understanding and following each site’s removal process carefully is the best way to eliminate the risk highly visible personal data poses for your privacy and safety.
Is there anything I should do before opting out of people search?
Yes. While opting out of people search is an important step in protecting your privacy, there are a number of reputation management best practices you can engage in beforehand to limit your exposure and ensure your info is under tighter wraps:
1. Limit the info you put on social media profiles
There’s no rule saying you have to fill out the entire profile on any social profile. Personal data like your email, phone and personal address should be excluded from profiles whenever possible.
2. Change your privacy settings
Most social, content and forum sites offer allow you to adjust privacy settings and control profile visibility. Take advantage of privacy controls whenever they’re available Facebook, for example, asks, “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?” Select no.
3. Remove your records (when possible)
This isn’t always practical, but if you ever have an opportunity to remove arrest, court or property records from public records archives, take it. People search sites can’t find what isn’t there.
Once you’ve done everything possible to limit access to important private data, you’re better prepared to dive into personal info removal, opt your name out of people search and build the personal online brand you deserve.
How to opt out of Intelius, Peoplesmart.com and people search sites across the web
As mentioned earlier, each data aggregate has a different process for opting your info off the site. Learning each is key to ensuring your data removal is successful.
Here are the current opt out procedures for the top 10 people search engines on the web, including steps for:
1. Intelius opt out
Intelius is one of the more popular data brokers on the web. To remove yourself from Intelius:
- Visit the Intelius opt-out page.
- Enter your name and location. Hit ‘Search.’
- Select the listing that matches your personal information.
- Enter your email address.
- Write down your reference number (usually 7 digits).
- Wait for a confirmation email.
This brief video may offer a little more insight into how to remove your info from Intelius:
Once your Intelius opt out request has been submitted, listing removal may take up to 72 hours. If you receive confirmation but your listing still appears on the site, try the process again or go to the Intelius Help page.
2. Peoplesmart.com Opt Out
Opting out of Peoplesmart.com may be a little confusing, as you will be redirected to a different site near the start of the process.
Don’t be deterred! This is perfectly normal and part of the People Smart removal.
To begin Peoplesmart opt out:
- Visit the Peoplesmart opt out page.
- Click on ‘Manage Your Listing’ at the top right of the page.
- A new tab will pop up. Click ‘Do Not Sell My Info.’
- Enter your name and state in the fields provided. Hit ‘Search.’
- Choose the Peoplesmart.com listing that best matches your info.
- Enter your email and click ‘Send Verification Email.’
- Check your email for a confirmation message (this may take a few minutes to show).
- Click ‘Verify Opt-Out.’
Actual removal of your Peoplesmart.com listing may take 1-2 days. Opting out will be remove your info from all BeenVerified people search affiliates.
If removal is unsuccessful, send an email to email@example.com.
3. WhitePages Opt Out
Like the others, WhitePages opting out is not very intuitive. To begin the process:
- Visit http://www.whitepages.com
- Enter your name and location (city & state).
- There may be several matches. Identify the right one, and click on ‘View Details’.
- When you’ve chosen the listing that best matches your personal info, copy the URL from the field at the top of your browser.
- Go to the Whitepages.com opt out page.
- Paste the copied URL into the opt-out field and click ‘Opt Out.’
- You’ll be asked, “Is this the person you want to remove?” Click ‘Remove Me.’
- The next page presents a pulldown list, beneath “Please help us understand why you want your information removed.” Choose one of the options and hit ‘Submit.’
- Under ‘Verify your identity with a phone call,’ enter your phone number and click ‘Call Now To Verify.’
- You will then receive a four-digit verification code, followed by a call from the Whitepages robot. Provide the code during the call.
If each step is done correctly, you will receive a ‘Success!’ message on your screen. Most Whitepages removals take about 24 hours to complete.
For a better look at the Whitepages opt out process, check out our Whitepages.com removal blog.
4. Spokeo opt out
Deleting your info from Spokeo is similar to Whitepages removal, but not as extensive:
- Go to Spokeo.com.
- Enter your name or contact information into the search bar.
- When you’ve located the right results, right-click on ‘See Results’ and select ‘Copy link address.’
- Visit the Spokeo opt out page.
- Paste the URL into the field and enter your email address.
- Check your email for confirmation.
- Click the link to complete Spokeo removal.
- Completing opt out of Spokeo generally takes 2-3 days. Visit the Spokeo Help Page if your attempt is unsuccessful.
5. MyLife opt out
A popular data aggregator, Mylife creates “public reputation scores” from wide-ranging public records data collected from across the web. It’s also one of the more difficult people search sites to opt out of.
To get your personal profile off Mylife:
- Visit Mylife.com and click ‘Join Now’ at the top right of the screen.
- Enter a name (not your real name) and your email. Click ‘Join For Free.’
- Search your profile and select the listing that matches your info.
- Copy the listing URL.
- Send an email (yes, really) to firstname.lastname@example.org politely requesting removal of your listing. Include the copied URL somewhere in your message.
- Check your inbox for a confirmation email (this usually shows up in a few minutes).
Unfortunately, MyLife may take anywhere between 7-10 days to complete your request, much longer than requests made of most other data brokers online. If it’s past the 10-day mark and your info is still up, call Mylife customer care directly at 888-704-1900.
For more info on personal reputation score and how to improve yours, click here.
6. Instant checkmate opt out
Opting out of instant checkmate is a fairly simple process.
- Go to the Instant Checkmate opt out page.
- Enter your name, city and state. Hit ‘Search.’
- Choose the result that matches your info and click ‘Remove This Record.’
- Enter your email address in the field provided.
- Click ‘Send Confirmation Email.’
- Check your inbox and complete your request by following the ‘Confirm Opt-Out’ link.
Instant Checkmate usually takes up to two days to process your removal.
7. Radaris opt out
The Radaris opt out method is one of the easiest to complete, though it takes about 48 hours for your listing to be removed.
To remove information from Radaris:
- Go to Radaris and search your profile (name and location).
- Click on the ‘Full Profile’ tab next to the right listing.
- Copy the listing URL.
- Visit the Radaris opt out page and paste the URL.
- Enter your name and email in the appropriate fields. Click ‘Send Request.’
- Open the confirmation email and click on the link.
As with all removal requests, be sure to jot down any tracking or request number provided. In the case of Radaris, you can use this number to check the status of your removal.
8. Peoplefinders opt out
Peoplefinders crawls public records and social profiles to aggregate your info. They use this data to supply reports to any users searching your name in the site.
Scrubbing your info from peoplefinders can be done in a few easy steps:
- Enter your name and location into the Peoplefinders search bar at the top of the page.
- Right-click ‘View Details’ next to the profile matching your personal info.
- Copy the link address.
- Go back to the Peoplefinders opt out page.
- Paste the URL into field 1.
- Enter your email and hit ‘Send Request.’
- Check your inbox for a confirmation email.
- Follow the link provided.
Opting out of Peoplefinders generally takes up to 48 hours after confirmation. If your request is unsuccessful, call or contact Peoplefinders.com customer care at 800-718-8997.
9. Spyfly opt out
Spyfly billed as a background check site, purporting to offer “full background reports” to users in a matter of minutes.
To delete your info from Spyfly:
- Search your name and state at https://www.spyfly.com/.
- Locate your profile and make note of exactly how your personal info appears.
- Go to the Spyfly ‘Remove My Public Record’ page.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Enter your name, current & previous addresses and email address in the fields provided.
- Check your inbox for confirmation email. Once received, reply to that email with the info your first and last name, age, current address and any previous addresses as they appear in your listing.
- Wait for another email confirming SpyFly is processing your request.
Note: Spyfly.com opt out is usually completed about 24 hours after the final opt-out email.
10. Pipl opt out
Last but certainly not least on our opt out how-to list is Pipl. Pipl is not only one of the hardest to get your personal data removed from; it’s also one of the slowest.
You may request removal of your Pipl listing by:
- Visiting the Pipl request removal page,
- Filling out the request form (name, email & message), and
- Checking your inbox periodically for an answer.
Unfortunately, getting your info deleted from Pipl is often a hit-or-miss proposition, depending mostly on when or even if your request is considered. While successful Pipl removal isn’t out of the question, it’s hard to guarantee in any sense that your listing will be removed from the site.
Opting out of the top people search sites is a good first step to protecting your online privacy.
That said, there are hundreds of data search engines operating across the web, each working nonstop to sell your sensitive info while putting your identify, your livelihood and your family at serious risk.
So, what do you do next? How do you opt out of hundreds of data sites and still build the online reputation that defends and defines your personal brand?
At Internet Reputation™, we provide the complete privacy protection and removal solutions to remove your personal info from across the internet, ensuring your private data is secured and your family is safe around the clock.
Not only that, but with all-new DIY online reputation tool Reputation Station, you have the power of reputation management in your hands, including the ability to monitor your brand, manage threats and build the digital resume you need to thrive online.
Sign up for your free trial of Reputation Station today. Or call a Reputation Specialist anytime at 844-924-0240.