How to delete yourself from whitepages?
- Whitepages is just one of dozens of websites that store and display your personal contact information, including your name, relatives, and even address.
- Anybody can search these sites (usually called "people search" sites) to find your contact information, as long as they have your name and age.
- While it's virtually impossible to purge your contact information from every single one of these sites, most of the largest public records databases provide ways to remove your results.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Almost everyone's Googled themselves at some point, curious at what sort of info Google has picked up about them. And if you have, chances are you've stumbled upon a site like Whitepages, which archives personal info about you for anyone to search up.
This personal info usually includes your public records — i.e., your name, age, address, landline number, and relatives. Some sites go even further than that, and add in your cell number, place of work, and criminal record if you have one.
As privacy becomes harder and harder to come by on the internet, it's reasonable to worry about having this sort of info out there for anyone to find. Luckily, there are ways to remove your info from these sites.
It should be noted that with so many people search sites out there, and more cropping up all the time, it's virtually impossible to wipe your personal info off the internet completely. A few sites, like Pipl and Zabasearch, don't offer any way to take your info down.
But all of the most commonly used people search sites — Whitepages, Spokeo, FamilyTreeNow, etc. — allow you to submit Opt Out requests, which will eventually erase your info from their searches.
Here's how to remove yourself from Whitepages, Spokeo, and more.
How to remove yourself from Whitepages' records
Whitepages is the biggest and most popular public records database around. If anyone is looking for your info, this is likely where they'll start. The site offers two categories of personal info:
- Free information, which includes your name, age, current addresses, relatives, and occasionally your home phone number.
- "Premium" information, which includes all your past addresses, cell phone number, and criminal and financial records.
In short, accessing the free info doesn't cost anything, while accessing the Premium info requires a payment of at least $4.99. Luckily, however, you can remove both for free. Here's how to remove both.
Remove your free info from Whitepages
2. In the text boxes provided, enter your name and address. Click the magnifying glass to search.
3. In the list of names provided, find your entry and click the box that reads, "View Details." It can be difficult to locate, as there are usually at least a couple other entries with the same name as you. To make matters worse, it's not uncommon to find that Whitepages has your name misspelled in its records — as was the case with me. You can usually locate your specific profile by looking for your age and the names of your relatives, which are among the first items displayed.
4. Once opened, your page will display a long list of all the info that Whitepages has on file about you. It'll also include a lot of sky blue-colored links to further results — that's all your premium info, locked behind a paywall.
5. Copy your profile's URL by highlighting it and pressing Control + C on a PC, or Command + C on a Mac.
7. In the box provided, paste in your copied URL and click the "Opt-out" button.
8. Whitepages will bring up a box with your name and some info, and ask you to make sure that it's the right person. If it is, click "Remove me." If not, click "This is the wrong person. Take me back," and make sure that the URL is correct.
9. Before continuing, you have to select a reason why you want your info to be removed. It doesn't matter what reason you select, or whether or not you leave a comment. Once you've picked your reason, click "Submit."
10. To finish removing your info, you have to verify your identity by entering a security code that Whitepages will provide through a phone call. In the text box provided, enter a phone number you can be immediately reached at, check the box affirming that you're removing only your own info, and click "Call now to verify."
11. You'll be taken to a new page, which will display a four-digit code in large lettering.
12. Within a few moments, you'll receive a call from a phone number based out of Nicasio, CA. Note that it won't ring as long as most phone calls before disconnecting — only about ten seconds — so answer quickly. And also be aware that since it's technically an automated call, some phone providers' anti-robocall features may try to block or silence it. When I did this on T-Mobile, the Caller ID read "Scam Likely."
13. Answer the phone call, and listen to the instructions given by the robocaller's (sort of creepy) voice. It'll ask you to enter the four-digit code on your phone's keypad. Once you do, the robocaller will tell you that your request has been accepted, and if you have any more questions, to visit the Whitepages website. It will then hang up.
14. Refresh the page with your code on it.
And that's all it takes to remove your free info. Note, however, that it may take up to a day for your info to disappear from the site — and it may take even longer for your info to stop showing up on search engines like Google or Bing, which could keep it cached for an indefinite amount of time.
Remove your Premium info from Whitepages
2. In the text boxes provided, enter your name and address. Click the magnifying glass to search.
3. In the list of names provided, find your entry. You can usually locate it by looking for your age and the names of your relatives, which are among the first items displayed. Once found, right-click the blue button that reads "View Full Report."
4. In the menu that opens, click "Copy Link Address." This will copy the URL of the Premium listing without you having to pay for it.
5. Go to the Support Request page, which you can find here.
6. The page will ask you to disclose what sort of issue you're having. From the dropdown menu, select "I need to edit or remove a listing."
7. The page will refresh, and a long questionnaire form will appear. Fill it out, providing the URL you copied and as much other info as you can. Fill out the Subject and Description sections like you were writing an email — just explain that you're making this request because you don't want your info on the site. Click "Submit."
8. Within a few minutes, you should receive an email saying that your request is being processed and reviewed. Within a day after that, you'll receive another email from Whitepages, confirming that your information has been removed.
Within two or three days, your Premium info should be deleted off the site. People may still be able to find your name through the Whitepages search, but they won't be able to find anything more.
So, that's how you get your info off Whitepages. But what about the other prominent people search sites?
How to remove yourself from Spokeo
Spokeo is another commonly used people search site. They don't display as much information as Whitepages, but it's still worth wiping your data off the site if you have privacy concerns. Here's how to do it.
1. Navigate to Spokeo's homepage.
2. In the text box provided, enter your full name. Click the green "SEARCH" button.
3. Spokeo will take a minute to aggregate results. Once it's finished, you'll be presented with a long list of names.
4. Find your name on the list. Like Whitepages, you can usually locate it by looking for your age and the names of your relatives, which are among the first items displayed. Once found, click the green button that reads "SEE RESULTS."
5. This will bring you to your public info profile. Copy your profile's URL by highlighting it and pressing Control + C on a PC, or Command + C on a Mac.
6. Head to the Remove Listing page, which you can find here.
7. Paste your profile's URL (Control + V or Command +V) into the first box provided, type your email address into the second box, and complete the reCAPTCHA.
8. You'll receive an email from Spokeo, which will contain a URL you need to complete the process. Click on it, or copy and paste it into your URL bar.
9. You'll be taken back to the Remove Listing page, but now there will be a green bar at the top of the page that reads: " We've received your request to remove this listing: [insert your profile's URL here]. Please allow 2-3 days for all updates to be reflected on the site."
Within a few days, your profile should disappear. However, as Spokeo notes on their Remove Listing page (pictured in step 7 above), you should occasionally search yourself again on Spokeo, as they may put your profile back up without warning.
How to remove yourself from FamilyTreeNow
FamilyTreeNow's removal process is very similar to Spokeo.
1. Head straight to FamilyTreeNow's opt out page, which you can find here.
2. Read the instructions, fill out the reCAPTCHA, and click the green button that reads "Begin Opt Out Procedure."
3. Search for your profile, filling in as many details as you need to specify yourself. Click "Search" when you've filled in your search criteria.
4. Look for your profile on the page that appears. The best way to find yourself is to look at the "BIRTH" line on the right side of the results. Once found, click the green "View Details" button.
5. On your profile page, at the top, there should be a red button that reads "Opt Out This Record." Click on it. If it isn't there, start again from Step 1, and go through the steps faster.
6. You'll be taken to a simple page that reads, "Your optout request is being processed. Please allow up to 48 hours for your record to be removed."
Your profile should disappear within a few days.
How to remove yourself from other public information sites
There are dozens, if not hundreds of different people search sites on the internet. As mentioned above, some simply don't let you take your info down. Some might even make you pay to erase your profile.
But generally, if you find a people search site that you don't trust displaying your personal info, your best bet is to search their site or Google for an opt out form. If you can't find one, try sending an email to the website's customer support team.