No matter how careful you are, your personal information will find its way to the internet. Whenever you sign up for a new account, share a photo on social media or make a purchase, another bit of your data is exposed.
Anybody can do a Google search to find out more information about you. There’s a lot of data-shared you can’t stop, but you can request that personal details like your address and phone number be removed. Tap or click here for step-by-step instructions.
One of the most common places for these kinds of details to pop up? A people search website. As the name implies, you can search for anyone and see their address, phone number, employment history and more. We’re on a mission to help you delete that info. In this week’s Opt-Out Tuesday, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from SpyFly.
Your personal information is out there
People search sites collect and sell personal information to anybody willing to pay. This can include your name, address, birthday, marital status, family members, social media profiles, education level, property records, financial records, phone number, police record and employment information.
People search sites get all that data from court records, social media, and online forums, along with local, state and federal public records. They can also purchase information from other data brokers.
These sites usually advertise themselves as helpful for finding friends and family — or to find out if a criminal has moved into your neighborhood. The truth is anybody can use these sites, including hackers, scammers and stalkers.
Since these sites use public records, there’s no legal way to stop them from doing what they do. But there is always the option to remove your info.
MORE SECURITY SMARTS: Opt-Out Tuesday: Remove yourself from creepy people search sites
The fly on the wall
SpyFly has been around since 2014 and makes no apologies about its purpose. The name has the word “spy” in it, after all. The website states that SpyFly’s mission is to make it “making it fast, easy, and safe for people to find and learn the truth about anyone.”
There are two ways to remove your information from SpyFly. The help page says you can send an email to email@example.com with your first and last name as shown on the website, along with your age, your current address and your previous addresses. The process should take 24 hours.
The other method is to opt-out through the website:
- Go to spyfly.com.
- Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and select Remove My Public Record.
- Scroll down and enter your name, age, current address, previous address and email address.
- Tap or click Submit and you’ll be taken to a confirmation page.
- Check your email for a message from SpyFly Support.
- You’ll have to reply to the email to validate your request. Try something like, “Please remove the information associated with me from the SpyFly.com database” or “Please remove my information from SpyFly.com.” Be concise and clear.
Wait a few days and search the site again for your records. If you have any issues, contact SpyFly customer support here.
Opt-out Tuesday: How to remove yourself from US Search