Each day, people search sites like Spokeo collect and sell your sensitive private information for a small, one-time fee.
This puts your information and identity at serious risk of attack, making you increasingly vulnerable to spammers, hackers, scammers, robocallers, identity thieves and anyone else with an ax to grind.
Fortunately, Spokeo removal options are available, providing a way to get your address, phone number and other vital info out of search results and into your control.
Here’s a look at how Spokeo works, what Spokeo opt out means and how to remove your information from Spokeo for good.
What is Spokeo?
Spokeo.com is one of many people-search engines specializing in the collection and sale of personal data on the internet. After paying a small fee, Spokeo members are provided detailed background reports on your location history, employment record, court and arrest records, known relatives, current and past contact information, and more.
According to Spokeo, the site organizes and provides access to more than 12 billion records pulled from thousands of online sources.
How does Spokeo get personal information?
Like other data aggregates, Spokeo pulls personal information from public records and publicly available sources across the web. These may include anything from public records sites and surveys to mailing lists and social media profiles. Once collected, that data is then curated into “unique data sets” that are displayed during searches of your info.
In other words, any personal info you have listed in property, court, criminal or social media records are likely to be targeted by Spokeo crawlers, which then shape and feature that data into easily searchable profiles on the Spokeo website.
Without a good Spokeo removal strategy in place, this makes addresses, phone numbers, family info and other private data easy to find, access and use against you.
How does Spokeo work?
Spokeo offers four different search options for users to locate and purchase your data:
- Reverse Email
- Reverse Phone
After entering your name into the Spokeo search bar, the user is presented an option for unlocking your “profile” and accessing anything from personal details and contact info to location history, online profiles, court records and more. A “Spokeo Report” for your name is then made available for a monthly subscription fee.
The reverse email, phone and address lookups allow users to trace contact info back to related personal listings and identify ownership of those records. Once your phone or email is entered, the user is provided one or more listings to choose from. More detailed info is made available for a small fee.
What information is available on Spokeo.com?
Once the fee is paid, users typically have access to a variety of personal details. These may include:
- Your full name, age, marital status and aliases
- Contact info, such as past and current phone numbers, email addresses, business contact info and your current mailing address
- Past and present residences and neighborhood info
- Employment info, including current employer data and work history
- Information on immediate and extended family, including your children, spouse and relatives
- Social media and other online profiles, including photos and videos tied to your name
- Court, criminal and property records, collected from public records databases across the web
Personal information on Spokeo and other data aggregates not only threatens your personal privacy, but often the privacy and safety of friends, acquaintances and loved ones. Knowing how to remove your own personal information from sites like Spokeo may go a long way to protecting those who matter most.
What is Spokeo opt out?
Like most data brokers, Spokeo offers its own unique, step-by-step process for opting your personal info out of the site. When followed carefully, Spokeo opt out provides the opportunity to remove one personal listing at a time. Because sensitive data is often featured in multiple listings, it may take several opt outs to remove your information from Spokeo in its entirety.
Spokeo’s removal process is an effective way to remove your personal data from the site. But as you complete opt out, note that:
- Spokeo only features data pulled from third party sources, meaning removal will not delete your info from the original source.
- Spokeo removal does not remove your data from other people search sites. You must visit and follow each site’s unique opt-out procedure to complete individual removals.
- Removal does not guarantee your listing won’t appear on the site in the future. Because Spokeo is always scouring the web for new information, listings are added and updated on a regular basis. Checking the site every few weeks is the best way to ensure your info is protected.
While removing your listing from Spokeo isn’t very tricky, it should always be completed in accordance with the instructions provided on the site. Skipping a step or ignoring certain details may nullify the process or force the need to start over.
How to remove your information from Spokeo
Removing your information from Spokeo begins by locating your listing and copying the URL. Once you have the exact listing, visit Spokeo’s opt-out page, paste the URL into the form provided and enter your email address to confirm your identity. Complete the CAPTCHA, click ‘REMOVE THIS LISTING’ and check your email for a confirmation message.
2. Choose the listing that best matches your personal information. Click ‘SEE RESULTS’
3. After verifying the profile as your own, right-click on the URL at the top of your browser
5. Paste your listing URL into the prompt provided
6. Enter your email into the email prompt
7. Complete the CAPTCHA near the bottom of the page, and click ‘REMOVE THIS LISTING’
8. Check your email for Spokeo removal confirmation (this is generally sent immediately)
Note: if you don’t see an email right away, check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, you may have to repeat the process or contact Spokeo customer support.
9. Open and click the second URL
10. Give it a little time
Your information may be removed within the day, or even right away. Still, it’s important to give Spokeo between 2 and 3 days (48-72 hours) to remove your listing and update the site. If your listing has not been removed by then, contact a Spokeo customer representative at email@example.com.
As stated earlier, Spokeo crawlers are on constant lookout for profile updates and new personal data, meaning your information may reappear on the site well after your opt out has been processed.
Checking the site regularly (at least once a month) is key to keeping your data off the site as long as possible.
11. Your information is removed. Now, repeat!
Once you’ve confirmed removal of your listing, repeat the above steps for any other listings with past addresses, phone numbers, emails and variations of your name. Like other data aggregates, Spokeo usually posts multiple personal listings that may put you at risk. Rooting out all mentions – full names, nicknames, initials, etc. – is the best way to complete successful Spokeo opt out and ensure you’re protected.
What to know: Spokeo allows only five removal attempts from any given email and IP address. If you have reached the limit and receive a message from Spokeo, consider requesting further removals through a temporary, disposable email address.
Spokeo information removal is a step in the right direction. Getting sensitive personal data off the site removes a major threat to your privacy and online safety, giving hackers, scammers and criminals one less way to find your info and use it against you.
But even after your Spokeo listing removal is complete, there’s still the possibility it’ll pop up on the site in the future.
What’s more, Spokeo is just one of hundreds of data aggregates posting and selling your personal information.
And completing each site’s opt out process – and doing so repeatedly – takes no end of time, not to mention undaunted dedication, bottomless patience and round-the-clock vigilance to ensure your family is protected.
Fortunately, there is a better way.
With customized privacy monitoring and removal from Internet Reputation™, you can delete sensitive personal details from hundreds of sites all at once. Our advanced privacy solutions allow you to clear your name, addresses, phone numbers and other vital info from data brokers across the web, providing peace of mind without taking up your time.
And with 24-7 privacy monitoring, you receive instant alerts any time new mentions of your name and info appear, allowing you to take action quickly to protect your online privacy.
Visit us online or call 844-924-0240 to get started today.