You’re never alone when you’re online. Every website you visit and every app or service you use has the potential to gather data on you. Your online profile grows by the day from the ads you click on to your search history.
Data brokers collect this information and put it online. You’ll most commonly find this data available via people search sites. Tap or click here for our mega round-up of creepy people search sites and how to opt out from each.
For this week’s entry in our Opt-Out Tuesday series, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from Search Systems.
Avoid people search sites at all costs, especially if it costs you
Don’t ever pay for any people search service. Most of these sites are scammy in nature. You may think you’re paying for one report and find that you’ve been roped into recurring charges.
Also, don’t pay to remove your information from any site. This process must be provided for free.
When trying to remove your data, be careful which links you click. They’re often ads that lead you to another site that requests payment. We’ll provide accurate links to remove yourself from these sites with each Opt-out Tuesday report.
Do you have older relatives who may not know about these sites? While you’re opting out yourself, why not do the same for them? Just type in their information as you would your own, and follow our steps to completion.
Early birds of data collection
Search Systems has been providing personal information online since 1996. This is obtained through data brokers and public records, so there’s nothing illegal about it. In fact, you can find that information yourself. People search sites just make it easier for you.
“We’ve personally located, analyzed, described, and organized links to over 70,000 databases by type and location to help you find property, criminal, court, birth, death, marriage, divorce records, licenses, deeds, mortgages, corporate records, business registration, and many other public record resources quickly, easily, and for free,” the website boasts. Yikes.
How to take yourself out of the System
As with many people search sites, you must search for your information before opting out. This is a longer than usual process and takes some patience.
NOTE: You may be redirected to another people search site, which in this case is BeenVerified. If that happens, don’t worry. We’ve included instructions on how to opt-out of that site in the next section below.
First, here’s how to opt-out of Search Systems:
- Enter your first name, last name and state in the provided fields.
- Read the fine print about not using the information you find for nefarious purposes and tap I agree.
- Find your information in the search results and click the link.
- Copy the link to the URL.
- Now go to publicrecords.searchsystems.net/opt-out.php or tap Remove My Records at the bottom of the Search Systems homepage.
- Enter your name and email address and paste the link to the information you copied earlier.
- Under Reason for Removal, tell the simple truth. You don’t want your personal information available through this site.
- Enter the code to prove you’re not a robot and select Submit Request.
- Look out for a confirmation email.
- Wait a couple of weeks for your information to clear.
If you need to contact Search Systems, go to publicrecords.searchsystems.net/contact.php.
If you’re redirected, you can still opt out
Search Systems, like many other people search sites, has some connection to BeenVerified. If you want to ensure your information is removed from one, we advise removing it from the other. This is a general rule you can follow anytime you’re redirected to another site.
Here’s how to opt out of BeenVerified:
- Go to beenverified.com/app/optout/search.
- Enter your first and last name and select your state from the drop-down menu. Then hit the Search button.
- Select the correct match from the search results and click Proceed to Opt-Out.
- Fill in your email address and click Send Verification Email.
- Open the email and click the link inside. This will bring you to a confirmation page.
Expect it to take several days to weeks before your information vanishes. For customer support, write to email@example.com.