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Security & privacy

Opt-Out Tuesday: How to remove your info from Spokeo

People search sites post your personal information online. While they advertise their services as being ideal for locating long-lost friends and family, the truth is that a hacker or scammer can just as easily access the data.

We’ve been compiling these sites together, along with detailed instructions on how to opt-out. Tap or click here for our growing list of invasive people search sites.

For this week’s entry in our Opt-Out Tuesday series, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from Spokeo.

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.

And never pay to remove your information from any site. This process must be provided for free.

When opting out of a people search site, 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.

RELATED: Data-hungry apps: These are the worst for your privacy

Spokeo is one of the big ones

Spokeo boasts a database of 12 billion records scoured from thousands of data sources. Nearly 20 million people visit Spokeo.com each month. Its reports include contact info, location history, photos, social media accounts, family members, court records and work information.

RELATED: Data privacy bill, Tesla key hand implant, most creative scams

Delete your information from Spokeo

As with many people search sites, Spokeo requires you to find your own profile on its site before opting out.

Follow our step-by-step instructions to opt out of Spokeo:

  • Go to spokeo.com and enter your information to search for your profile.
  • Refine your search by selecting a state from the Browse Locations list. Tap All Filters to refine your search further.
  • Tap on your name to go to your profile page and copy the URL.
  • Go to spokeo.com/optout.
  • Paste the URL in the Enter URL here field.
  • Enter your email address and complete the Captcha.
  • Select Remove this listing.
  • Check your email for a message from Spokeo.
  • Tap or click the link below this line: To complete the removal process, please click this URL or paste it into your browser.
  • You’ll be taken to a page with the message, We’ve received your request to remove this listing.
  • Give the site at least a week to process your removal request.

If you need customer support, call Spokeo at 888-558-9004. Check out the contact page for more ways to get in touch.

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