Like it or not, your information is all over the internet. Government records reveal private information, including your full legal name and arrest records. On top of that, security breaches leak highly critical data, like your address and Social Security number.
It’s easy for hackers, stalkers and strangers to find your private information. They can head to free sites that compile public information into easily accessible databases. At the Komando HQ, we refer to these as “people search sites.”
These creepy websites collect your data and compile it into disturbingly detailed profiles that anyone can see. That’s why it’s important to remove your information from people search sites. In this week’s Opt-Out Tuesday, you’ll learn how to trim information away from a particularly thorny people search site.
It’s worth the time investment
Shady characters of all flavors love people search sites. But scammers and hackers are especially huge fans. Websites like People By Name, BeenVerified and Intelius scrape through the internet to gather your publically available information.
In other words, be careful about what you put on social media. It could be used against you. If you want to scrub your social media presence, this free and easy tool lets you clean up multiple accounts at once.
Who can forget about data brokers? They also love people search websites since the databases do the heavy lifting of packaging your information. For context, data brokers are behind targeted advertising on social media or Google Ads.
People By Name is especially concerning
Don’t browse through this site because it’s pretty shady. There are links on the site that you shouldn’t click. If you do, you might be taken to a site that tries to get you to buy something. (Yep, it’s one of those sites.)
To make matters worse, finding the right page is pretty hard. Our content queen, Allie, spent a few minutes searching for it. Along the way, she kept running into annoying links sending her to new websites.
Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. To remove your private information, head to the Information Removal page:
Notice that it asks for a record ID. You don’t have to provide it — and we recommend not doing so since you’d have to search through the website to find it. Do that, and you run the risk of clicking a shady link.
Just enter your first name, last name and email. You also must enter a reason for deleting your data — as if it weren’t obvious enough. Type something like “I want it removed for the sake of privacy.”
Of course, you can get creative and write something else. Maybe you’re in the mood for some expletives?
Either way, hit Request Removal to complete the process.
Once that’s done, you should see this page. In around a day, the email you provided should get an update. Once People By Name gets back to you, saying your information is removed, you can breathe a sigh of relief!
That was easy! Here are a few other invasive people search sites you should also know about. We’ve got all the steps you need to take to scrub yourself from these privacy-invading websites.