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Security & privacy

Opt-out Tuesday: How to remove yourself from PeopleFinders

Your personal information floats around the internet like shark bait. Anyone can find your email address, phone number or home address. That’s why you should remove yourself from people search websites like PeopleFinders.

Here’s how easy it is to track down someone’s private information. I once matched with a man on a dating site who sent me his phone number so we could text. I wanted to confirm his identity, so I plugged his phone number into FastPeopleSearch.

The phone number turned up his age and full name, but I also saw his home address, family members and even his roommate’s private information. Tap or click here to remove your personal information from FastPeopleSearch and similar sites. Bottom line: People search websites expose a scary amount of data, so you should opt out when possible.

Like them or not, people search sites are thriving

If it was easy for me to find private details on someone, imagine how easy it is for a hacker. Cybersecurity experts warn against people search sites because they make it easy for strangers to hunt down your data. It doesn’t even matter how tech-savvy your secret admirer is — looking you up is a piece of cake.

Websites like PeopleFinders and FastPeopleSearch scour the internet for as much public data on you as possible. They’ll rifle through your social media accounts, public records, court records and more. With all this information, they craft a comprehensive profile of you.

Someone just needs your name, phone, email or address to find out a scary amount of information.

Then, these people search sites throw up a profile of you on the web for anyone to see. Not only do they share your secrets with the world, but they can sell your information. Data brokers who buy your secrets turn around and use them to send targeted ads on social media or Google Ads.

RELATED: Do you talk to Alexa? Amazon uses your voice data to send you targeted ads 

Luckily, the Kim Komando team is here to help. Because there are so many threats to your privacy online, we created a series that will help you get your info off invasive websites. It’s called “Opt-Out Tuesday.” In this guide, you’ll learn how to get your information off PeopleFinders.

How to remove your data from PeopleFinders

Fortunately, PeopleFinders makes it easy to remove your data. Just head to the opt-out page here.

First, you’ll have to track down your information. This is easy: Just look yourself up in the search bar. You can type in your name or use your phone number or email address.

Once you find your profile, click View. This will take you to your specific profile, so you know exactly what you need to take down.

This is the most critical part. Make sure you copy the URL at the top of your profile page. This is essential to the opt-out process. Without it, you can’t take your information down.

Then, head back to the opt-out page here. You need to paste your URL into the opt-out page. Then, enter your email address.

PeopleFinders will send you a verification link to make sure you made the request. Once you have entered your profile URL and confirmation email, complete the CAPTCHA to prove you’re not a robot and hit the green Send Request button.

In order to find the empty fields for your profile URL and email, scroll down. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find the area for filling out your details:

Once you hit Send Request, you’ll get an email. It may take a while to show up in your inbox. Click the verification link and eventually your information will disappear from the site. Lucky you!

Just remember: Not all people search sites make it this easy to protect your privacy

In fact, many sites make it confusing, so you get overwhelmed and give up. After all, your data is profitable to them. So they aren’t incentivized to make it quick or easy.

Our weekly series will give you all the steps you need to protect your privacy. Keep an eye out for future guides on Opt-out Tuesday. We’ve written one before you should check out if you haven’t already. Tap or click here to remove yourself from BeenVerified.

Keep reading

Opt-Out Tuesday: Remove yourself from creepy people search sites

Yes, your data is for sale – Here’s what you can do to stop it

Privacy fix: How to remove your address and phone number from Google search results

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