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January 24, 2013 posted by Lindsay Ferrier

How to Get Your Name and Address OFF the Internet!

How to Get Your Name and Address OFF the Internet!

A few months ago, I saw a Facebook post that detailed how to get personal information off the site Spokeo.com. I didn’t realize my personal information was on Spokeo, but when I looked at the site, my mouth dropped open. Spokeo had my name, address, phone number, a satellite photo of my house, a map on how to get there, my occupation, my marital status, my relatives, my education history, how much I paid for my house, and my e-mail addresses, all available for a low fee to anyone who wanted them.

Thanks to the Facebook posting, I was able to quickly remove the personal information of everyone in my family, but then I wondered– If Spokeo had all that info on me, what other sites were making that same information available?

I decided to find out.

It turned out that two major sites, Spokeo.com and MyLife.com, both publish our personal information online, but there are a number of other sites that keep similar data on you as well, especially if you have a home-based business or have purchased a house. The easiest way to figure out where your personal information is publicly stored is to do a search that includes both “[your name]” and “[your street address].” That’s how I found about a half dozen sites that published that information.

The good news? All of those sites included a privacy policy that allowed me to remove my personal information (although some sites make it more difficult to remove the info than others), and now, as far as I can tell, my personal info is now at least a lot more difficult to access online.

Here’s how to remove your personal info from Spokeo:

1. First, search for your profile on Spokeo. When you get to the page that contains all your info, copy that URL.

2. Go to the Spokeo home page and scroll down to the very bottom. Click on “Privacy.”

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the “Privacy” page and click on “opt out form.”

4. Fill out that form and paste the URL from your profile. Voila! You’re off the site.

It’s harder to figure out how to delete your personal info from MyLife.com, but I’ve done the dirty work for you. Either call customer care at 1-888-704-1900 or e-mail them at privacy@mylife.com. It would probably be helpful to include the URL to your profile in the e-mail as well. To the site’s credit, when I e-mailed and requested that our family’s personal information be removed, they responded very quickly and the information was taken down.

In addition, I found that even though we are unlisted in the white pages, several other phone number sites listed our name and number. To find out if this is the case for you, do a search for your telephone number and see which sites turn up with your information.

411.info was one site that listed our name and number. To remove it from the site, go here http://wpremove.411.info and follow the instructions. It’s a weird process (you have to call a number from your own number), but it works. Our information was removed after my phone call.

Other sites that might have your personal information:

A good rule of thumb is to find the site’s privacy policy- Information on removing your info is generally hidden somewhere in that policy. If all else fails, contact the site directly.

I search for our address and phone number every month or two– New information sites pop up all the time and it’s best to be vigilant. So far, I’ve had no problems getting my information removed, once I figured out the process.

I did all of this work to remove our personal information from the web because of my husband’s job as a TV reporter — not because of the fact that I write stories on the Internet. I’ve honestly never had any problems with Internet “stalkers” or anything like that. My husband, on the other hand, routinely does stories on criminals and “bad guys,” and, well, you know. Better safe than sorry.

That said, literally two weeks after I gone through all of these sites and removed our info from them, a random man online began e-mailing me  and texting me via e-mail several times a day, begging me for my phone number so that we could talk and  “be friends.” He used every available online method to try to contact me and get my phone number. It was creepy, to say the least. Interesting, isn’t it, that I had JUST removed that information from the web!

I believe that if someone REALLY wants to get your personal information, they can, unfortunately. But why not make it as difficult for them as possible?

Got more tips or information you can add to the subject? Leave a comment and share!

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Image via JanetMck/Flickr

  • Suzanne

    Thanks so much for this info!  I knew about Spokeo, but didn’t know there was a way to get my information off of it.  I am doing that TODAY!

  • Eve Mathews

    Whoa!  Thank you Lindsay!

  • http://twitter.com/schmutzie Elan Morgan

    Just so you know, Spokeo may gather that info again and republish it. I think you have to go back regularly to remove it.

    • suburbanturmoil

       That’s ridiculous. It should be illegal for Spokeo to re-add you after you’ve opted out.

    • john649

      yep, you do. I just checked. They promise all would be removed but there it all is again.

    • http://www.GoChanteGo.com Go Chanté, Go!

      White pages will do the same thing.

  • ad5683

    Phonenumberdata.net wants to charge me $4.95 to remove my data from their site! And I can’t get through to 411.info (busy signal for the past 30 minutes). UGH. 

    • suburbanturmoil

       $4.95?! Whaaaaa?!

      I wonder if 411.info is busy because people are reading this post? It’s getting passed around. Try again tonight. I got through with no problem several weeks ago…

      • bronx

        Anyone figure how to remove personal info from Everyone411??????

        • Name

          A domain ownership check reveals the everyone411.com site is owned by MICHAEL WALLY. He is a federally convicted felon computer hacker. No surprise he is operating a site illegally, with no permission to use people’s private info, and with no way to remove it.

          • Name

            File an FTC complaint.

          • Tab

            What do you file the complaint under?

    • Outraged.

      That sounds like a spam? A rip off. See if you can report it to the phone company actually.

  • Candy

    Thanks for the info.  I found myself on Spokeo and it said my house was only worth $12,000.  Hopefully nobody will try to rob that :)

  • cheesehead4ever

    I’ve never heard of Spokeo and they did not have a listing for me in the house we’ve lived in for two years. But they had our old address, which they valued at one million dollars. We sold it for $156,000. Hope we weren’t cheated. :)
    It was freaky because it also had three of my previous addresses associated with me.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ocLbe3-sBI How to get a free iphone 5

    With havin so much written content do you ever run
    into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • lynn

    thanks a bunch………you wouldn’t happen to know how to deal with the find a grave site would you ?? to remove information from there. any help would be appreciated greatly.

  • mh

    Also, if you’ve purchased a home, a service called Listings Magic has published interior photos of your home all over the Internet. A nice map once anyone has looked you up using any of these services.

  • Outraged.

    I just had someone on a social network ask me “do you work at..” and then they mentioned my employer. So I did a search and on one site they have all my info and that I’m related to among people I’ve never heard of before they mention my ex-husband. Not my ex- died before the web was invented (yes I’m old) So where are our privacy rights? where is his?

  • Lynn Robertson

    Thank you so very much for the info. I’d never heard of Spokeo, either. But I was bothered that my info could so easily be found at 411. I run a blog, too, so keeping where I live private is very impt!

  • John Gilmore

    Everyone411.com is another site with info on people!

    • Rod

      I saw this… how do you opt-out of this one? There isn’t a way on the privacy or terms of service options at the bottom of the page. This is irritating because I have a non-published number

      • Tweley

        Did you remove it

      • Name

        A domain ownership check reveals the everyone411.com site is owned by MICHAEL WALLY. He is a federally convicted felon computer hacker.

        • Name

          File a complaint with the FTC. (ftc.gov)

        • Durant

          I see the WHOIS on the domain coming back as Ali Fulladi.

  • Ella

    Thank you for this information!

  • aniela

    Hi, all your information on how to opt out is precious, I was not lucky though. I can’t find my URL!

  • B

    I followed instructions to remove my name on spokeo and it worked for one state but the other one when you search my name the first page that pops up that is not my profile page still shows my city and state and it will not let me delete! My location is the main thing I am trying to erase! I have already sent an email to them trying to fix. So just be careful and double check your name to make sure its really gone all the way!

  • Mike Lo
  • nd

    how would I get my info taken of everyone411 they have my phone number!!

  • Ian Chin

    Good article, thanks for taking the time to write it. That said, MyLife is the biggest pain in the butt to remove. Also look for yourself at:

    veromi.com
    checkpeople.com
    peoplefinders.com
    instantcheckmate.com
    peoplesmart.com
    ussearch.com

  • rebeccaholmes

    Thanks a million for this. You’re the best!

  • Gaea

    Whitepages also has all your personal info (even if your phone number is unlisted!!) and it is impossible to remove. I tried creating an account to take control of my profile but I keep getting logged out without being able to delete my info. It’s a joke! Also, even though I managed to get my info removed from 411, it still appears on the Google snipped and Google keeps denying my request to remove it and update their snippet!!!

  • Peter M

    What a fucked up country. What one has to go through to have their personal information removed is outrageous. It is a full time job that does not pay you in return – A never ending battle one will never win. Time, aggravation, and effort all for nothing. My efforts have now been redirected in finding a way to be compensated…I’m creative- I’ll find it. Thanks for the info never the less.

  • Hayley

    Here is a link to step-by-step tutorials for opting out of 7 major directories. http://what-is-privacy.com/category/opt-out-2/ Feel free to contact me via the contact form on what-is-privacy.com if you run into any issues or have any questions. Hayley

  • TITI

    Not cool,I was found by a lunatic husband,”that I had to have neck surgery ,he almost killed me,moved while he was in jail so I wouldn’t be found”,because of this site,SHOULD BE Illegal!!!!
    Might as well have left bread crumbs

  • madpersonalinfo

    I agreee. This internet is a great tool…but getting to personal and carried away. Drives me crazy.

  • Bliss Doubt

    Wow, thank you! Spokeo, done. On to the next one.

  • xstratusx

    Does anyone know how to find out which “public records” Spokeo gets information from? I am not married, have no property, all of my social accounts are private and no criminal record, so I have no idea how to prevent myself from being found by these predatory websites. I’m skeptical about contacting them with more personal information just to get myself removed.

  • Melly Mel

    Thank you