Like it or not, your personal information is online for anyone to find. This can include your full name, address, phone number, police record, employment information and more. People search sites scrape this information from public records, court records, social media and other sources.
Many sites exist solely to offer such services. You only need a small piece of information, such as a person’s phone number, and from there, you can locate more information on them. These sites usually offer a way to opt out, but not always. Tap or click here to learn how to remove your data from PeopleFinders.
For this entry in our weekly Opt-Out Tuesday series on removing yourself from people search sites, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from US Search.
An early example
One of the earliest people search sites is US Search, which launched in 1993. The site boasts that you can use it to access billions of records. Like many such sites, this one claims it’s designed to help you “find long-lost friends and family members.” You can bet those aren’t the only types of people using these sites.
Scammers and hackers can use these sites to find victims. The more information they have, the more damage they can do. The sites themselves can sell information to third parties, such as data brokers, that use the data for targeted advertising.
You don’t need to be a tech whiz to use a site like US Search. Just select Get Started on the homepage and you’ll be presented with options to search by name, phone number or address.
Get your data out of there
It’s not always easy to remove yourself from people search sites, but US Search’s process is simple. Here’s how to do it:
- Enter your first and last name, state of residence and email address, and tap Continue.
- Find yourself in the list of results and tap Remove Record.
- You may need to scroll down and complete the verification process and select Verify.
- You’ll get an email verification. Check the information and select Confirm Email.
- You’ll be taken to a page that tells you you’re confirmed.
- It will take some time for your information to be removed.
- If your information is still there after a few weeks, try the process again.
- If you’re having problems removing yourself from the site, contact US Search by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-712-0108.