My son asked me where I lived for a few months in Los Angeles over 25 years ago. It was a gig working for Unisys that was far from memorable. He found that address at a free people search site, along with my other addresses and cell phone numbers. Nice.
That’s what inspired my widely successful Opt-Out Tuesday series at Komando.com. Every Tuesday, we walk you through all the steps to remove your personal information from a different people search site. It’s been a ton of work, as these sites don’t make it easy.
Opt-Out Tuesday has been so popular that people search sites are fighting back. After all, the less personal information they have about you and me, the less money they make.
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It worked so well that we got their attention
Opt-Out Tuesday was gaining praise, and then, a change. Suddenly, I noticed a steady stream of emails and social media posts from folks having a hard time opting out of people search sites. That’s because the opt-out process can change anytime — without warning. I can only assume the traffic we delivered to the site’s removal pages was to blame.
My team spent almost 48 hours opting out of every people search site again to get the information you need to do the same.
You have friends and relatives who don’t even know these sites exist. Let them know you’re protecting your privacy online and encourage them to do the same. I bet they’ll thank you.
Try opting out now
Intelius is one of the more prominent data brokers on the web. The old opt-out link for Intelius is broken, so you’ll need to use the PeopleConnect suppression tool. Let’s start there.
NOTE: Follow these steps closely. One errant click may throw off the whole process.
- Go to suppression.peopleconnect.us/login.
- Check your inbox for a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Tap the Verify Email button in the message.
- Enter your name and email address, scroll down, and hit Save when you’re done.
- Go back to the top of the page, select the Suppression Setting tab, and wait for your information to show up.
- If the information matches yours, select the Visibility Setting dropdown menu and select Suppressed.
- If you can’t locate your information, select the Identity tab at the top to go back to the previous page.
- Hit the Edit Identity button and enter more information, such as another email address you use. Verifying more of your information may help to locate your matching profile on the site.
NOTE: PeopleConnect pushes the suppression tool as the best way to stop people from finding you on its sites, but there is also an option to delete. Before you do so, know that PeopleConnect states that deleting your data will also delete your suppressions.
With that in mind, here’s how to delete your data:
- Go to suppression.peopleconnect.us/privacy-center and scroll down to the Right to Delete section.
- Enter your email address. If you followed the suppression steps above, your information may already be in the system, and you won’t have to enter your email address again.
- Hit the Delete My User Data button. You’ll get a message saying you have to complete the process via a link in your email.
- Check your inbox for a message from email@example.com. Tap the link at the bottom to delete your account data permanently.
- You’ll be taken to a confirmation page. Keep an eye out for another email message confirming your deletion.
If you’ve already gone through the PeopleConnect deletion process for Intelius or another site, you’ll get an email stating that no record is associated with your email.
For more info or help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-245-1655.
Don’t stop there
Check out the following Opt-Out Tuesday posts for updated instructions on erasing yourself from these invasive sites:
- Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove yourself from US Search.
- Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove your info from TruthFinder.
- Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove your info from PeopleLookup.
- Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove your info from Instant Checkmate.
- Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove your info from PeopleFinder.
- Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove your info from ZabaSearch.
Let me know your thoughts about people search sites at Twitter.com/KimKomando.
Keep your tech-know going
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