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Delete yourself from mylife?

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Sep 27, 2011 | Updated Jan 13, 2020
by Jennifer Bridges @JenBridgesRD

  • Why they have your info
  • Check privacy laws
  • Before you start
  • Site-specific instructions
  • Additional things to watch for
  • Automatic, ongoing opt-outs

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There are hundreds of websites that provide your personal information to anybody on the Internet. Known as data-broker, people-finder, people-search, or whitepages sites, some of the most common ones include Spokeo, MyLife, PeopleSmart, US Search, Intelius, Whitepages, and Radaris.

In this article, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from these sites. They each have site-specific opt-out instructions, and we’ll walk you through all of them. We’ll also show you some common pitfalls you need to watch out for as you go through the process.

Why do people-search sites have my data?

People-search sites crawl the web, scanning for information they can use to construct personal profiles of individuals. They get their initial data from public records published by the government. Then, they flesh the profiles out with information from social media posts, news articles, marketing databases, and more.

Because all the information on these sites is publicly available, the sites aren’t technically violating any privacy laws by reposting it.

But even though it’s legal, it is understandably an unnerving experience to see your personal information on these sites. Many of them reveal:

  • Your name and names of relatives
  • Addresses and aerial satellite home photos
  • Phone numbers and previous addresses
  • Financial information and work history
  • Age and date of birth

Many of these sites compile enough information about you to let someone guess the answers to common password-reset questions, which is a serious security risk. Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions we get at ReputationDefender is how to remove your information from people-search sites.

Check your state’s online privacy laws

It’s worth checking to see if your state’s laws let you sue to have your information deleted if a company won’t comply with your removal request. A handful of states have passed sweeping privacy laws that guarantee consumers the right to control their personal information online.

For example, California’s new law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), guarantees consumers the right to:

  • Know what personal information companies are collecting about them
  • Access that data
  • Find out who companies are selling their data to
  • Opt out of having their data sold
  • Delete the data that has already been collected

Before you start: get a disposable email account

Many people-finder sites require you to register for an account or claim your profile in order to remove it. This usually involves signing up with an email address.

Your goal is to get off these sites—not to sign up for their marketing email lists—so you’ll want to avoid using your regular email address.

Instead, create a brand-new account, such as yourname[email protected], that you will only use for the removal process. You can use any email provider you like, just make sure you don’t use an email address you might need for something else.

Site-specific removal instructions

Spokeo

Spokeo provides an opt-out process that is fairly straightforward:

  1. Go to Spokeo.com and search for your name.
  2. Right-click on the listing you want to remove.
  3. Select “Copy link address” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Go to Spokeo’s opt-out page.
  5. Paste the URL into the “Enter URL here” box and use the email you created above for the email address box.
  1. Click the “I am not a robot” prompt.
  2. Click “Remove This Listing.”
  3. Open the confirmation email and click the link at the bottom.

Spokeo usually processes opt-out requests within 24-48 hours, depending on the nature of the request and how much data is involved.

Note: You may have multiple profiles on Spokeo. Often, variations of your name or address will generate new profiles. To ensure you remove all your profiles, search different combinations of your name for every city you’ve lived in.

MyLife

To remove yourself from MyLife, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your name in the search field on MyLife.com.

  1. Switch the toggle for “This is Me” and click “Search For Score.”
  1. Select “See My Background & Reputation Score” and wait for your report to generate. This may take several minutes.
  2. To see your profile, enter your name and personal information, using the temporary email address you created earlier, and click “Continue.” You don’t need to pay to view your report.
  3. Copy the URL of your report page to use in the next steps.

You then have two options for removing your profile completely:

1. Remove your profile by phone

Call MyLife customer support at 1-888-704-1900 and tell them that you’d like to delete your profile(s).

Have the following information handy:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Email
  • Current address
  • At least one previous address

Tell them that you want your listing removed from their site and affiliated sites. Then, provide the information that they ask for.

2. Remove your profile via email

Send a note to [email protected] For example:

PeopleSmart

To remove yourself from PeopleSmart:

  1. Visit PeopleSmart’s opt-out page, which is run by BeenVerified.

  1. Fill out the requested information (using the temporary email you created earlier), check the box certifying that you are the person listed.
  2. Add any other information you wish to remove.
  3. Click “Continue.”

In most cases, PeopleSmart/BeenVerified will process your opt-out request within 45 days.

Intelius

Removals on Intelius are fairly simple.

  1. Go to the site’s opt-out page.

  1. Enter your information and click “Search.”
  2. Click “Select & Continue” next to the record you want to remove.
  1. Enter the email address you created earlier and complete the form.
  2. Open the confirmation email and click the link at the bottom.

It takes about 72 hours for Intelius to delete your personal information.

US Search

Intelius purchased US Search in 2010. As such, US Search and Intelius use the same online opt-out form and procedures.

  1. Go to the opt-out page.
  2. Enter your information and click “Search.”
  3. Select the record you want to remove.
  4. Enter the email address you created earlier and complete the form.
  5. Open the confirmation email and click the link at the bottom.

Your content should disappear within 72 hours.

Whitepages

The following instructions are for removing personal information only. If you want to delete business information, you can do so by filling out a service ticket.

However, because Whitepages gets its business information exclusively from third-party sources, such as Infogroup/Express Update, it’s a good idea to contact these firms directly to remove your business details from as many sites as possible.

To remove your personal information from Whitepages, follow these steps:

  1. Search for yourself on the site by entering your first and last name, along with your city and state.

  1. Scroll down past the Premium Results to find your listing.
  2. Click “View Details.”
  1. Confirm that this is the correct listing by verifying your address.
  2. Copy the URL for the listing, paste it into the site’s Opt-Out page, and click “Opt-out.”
  1. Click “Remove me” on the confirmation page that pops up.
  2. Select a reason for your removal request from the drop-down menu and click “Submit.”
  3. Enter your telephone number, check the affirmation box, and click “Call Now to Verify.” You will receive a four-digit code.
  4. Follow the instructions and input the code when prompted during the authorization phone call.

The page should update with a confirmation that Whitepages is processing your removal request.

You can also submit a Whitepages CCPA take-down request if you live in California.

Radaris

To remove your information from Radaris, you need to claim your profile and then “hide” it from public view.

  1. Enter your first and last name, as well as your city and state, into the search form.

  1. Choose the profile that most closely resembles you on the results page that appears.
  2. On your profile page, click the down-arrow by the orange Background Check & Contact Info button and choose “Control Info” from the drop-down menu.
  1. From the information control page, choose “Control Info.”
  2. Create an account using your temporary email address, or log in if you already have an account.

From here, you can either remove all your information or just delete certain records.

To hide all information:

  1. Confirm your real name matches your account and profile name.
  2. Enter your cellphone number to obtain a verification code.
  3. Enter the code to make your profile private.

To hide specific records:

  1. Enter your name, email, the reason you want the record hidden, and the captcha code.
  2. Click “Submit” to receive an email containing your confirmation link.
  3. Click the email link. This completes the request.

Most requests are completed within 48 hours. Radaris will send you an email when it has hidden the records.

Additional things to watch for

Unfortunately, getting people-search sites out of your life is more complicated than simply issuing a few removal requests. These sites have a vested interest in making it as hard as possible to truly get your information removed, and there are a few pitfalls you need to watch for:

  • Upsells: Oftentimes, they’ll try to sell you a subscription to one of their products during the opt-out process. Read all the fine print carefully. It should never cost you anything to get off of a people-finder site.
  • Name variations: These sites usually make multiple profiles for the same person under different name variations. You’ll need to do a thorough search on each site to find all your potential profiles.
  • Recreated profiles: If some new piece of information about you appears online, or if someone with a similar name moves to a new address, a new profile may get created for you automatically. That’s because most of these people-finder sites assume all variations are a brand-new person. You’ll have to go through the opt-out process again.

Automatic, ongoing opt-outs

As you can see, protecting your privacy from people-search sites requires a fair amount of sleuthing and ongoing monitoring. The amount of time involved is discouraging for many people. That’s why ReputationDefender offers a suite of privacy services that process opts-out for you across dozens of people-search sites, monitoring for any new profiles on a regular basis. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re also happy to answer any other questions you might have about people-search sites or your online privacy.

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