How to opt out of people search sites?

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waltman300
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How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by waltman300 »

Got a question. Im US citizen but abroad most of the year. I recently went to one of those websites where you could literally people search and was shocked how much information there was on those websites such as if type in someone's name, it would show a bunch of people with the name you looking for, their age, state and even their address and previous addresses they lived in. Thus you could literally nail it down to that person if you know say their full name and their age and their state.



I typed in old friends of mine names and some current friends in the US and was shocked how all their information was public available. There are also people from when I was younger that I never hear from again or just curious what happen to them etc. Im also not a big facebook kind of guy anymore as im in my mid thirties but i always recalled about a decade ago, i had people on facebook friend listwho would brag a ton about things like money... so I was curious if they actually owned property or things like that. Is there a way to find out this information online such as if its public information?



The other thing is this. Is there a way to block yourself from all these people search etc? Doesn't seem that good in that someone could just find you there and then know where you live etc as how is that good safety wise? I mean I hear about how certain people addresses are leaked etc... and I got to assume these are the sites that allow it to happen right? How many of these sites are out there? Guess it has to be a ton of them? I recall checking a few of the sites and was shocked at how it showed the address of old friends i never spoke with in over a decade plus etc. The only benefit of these sites are its good to try to connect with old friends that you haven't spoken with in a while etc... but of course there is facebook for that.
lazynovice
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:48 pm

Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by lazynovice »

waltman300 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:23 pm Got a question. Im US citizen but abroad most of the year. I recently went to one of those websites where you could literally people search and was shocked how much information there was on those websites such as if type in someone's name, it would show a bunch of people with the name you looking for, their age, state and even their address and previous addresses they lived in. Thus you could literally nail it down to that person if you know say their full name and their age and their state.



I typed in old friends of mine names and some current friends in the US and was shocked how all their information was public available. There are also people from when I was younger that I never hear from again or just curious what happen to them etc. Im also not a big facebook kind of guy anymore as im in my mid thirties but i always recalled about a decade ago, i had people on facebook friend listwho would brag a ton about things like money... so I was curious if they actually owned property or things like that. Is there a way to find out this information online such as if its public information?



The other thing is this. Is there a way to block yourself from all these people search etc? Doesn't seem that good in that someone could just find you there and then know where you live etc as how is that good safety wise? I mean I hear about how certain people addresses are leaked etc... and I got to assume these are the sites that allow it to happen right? How many of these sites are out there? Guess it has to be a ton of them? I recall checking a few of the sites and was shocked at how it showed the address of old friends i never spoke with in over a decade plus etc. The only benefit of these sites are its good to try to connect with old friends that you haven't spoken with in a while etc... but of course there is facebook for that.
If someone owns property, they pay property taxes and their ownership would be listed in tax assessor records for their county most of which are online.

The websites you refer to pull information from public records. You would have to look at each website to see if they have procedures to remove yourself from their page.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Don't know why OP is shocked. All that information was out there in public records. The only difference now is that it's on line.

There are ways to live under the radar if one is obsessive enough. AND willing to forego many activities and comforts.
SteadyOne
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by SteadyOne »

I use https://joindeleteme.com/ and it worked for me. Yes, you have to pay for the service and it’s not 100% effective. But good enough.
“Every de­duc­tion is al­lowed as a mat­ter of leg­isla­tive grace.” US Federal Court
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LadyGeek
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (computer search).
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

SteadyOne wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:37 pm I use https://joindeleteme.com/ and it worked for me. Yes, you have to pay for the service and it’s not 100% effective. But good enough.
I'm curious; what types of info have been removed for you?

Broken Man 1999
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HyperCat
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by HyperCat »

I deleted my info the old fashioned way: googling name and location, then going down the list and opting out of every one of them. I believe they're legally required to have opt-out procedures, and often times the easiest way to find the right page is to google "[site name] opt out". New sites occasionally pop up, but this approach has been reasonably effective.
michaeljc70
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Even if certain sites let you opt out, public records will still exist. I was able to lookup when and how much a relative refinanced their home for and took out a home equity loan. All I had to know was the county they lived in. Assuming anyone has a social media presence, that is easy to find. I guess you can stop lazy people from finding the information from a Google search.

One site that comes up when I search myself says my "reputation score" is 44% less than the average person. Okay....I have excellent credit, have never been arrested, etc. It also incorrectly lists my political party voter registration and lists people as "relatives and associates" that I haven't seen in decades. Hopefully people aren't relying on information on sites like this. Of course, it gives me the option to view all the data they have on me and improve my "reputation". I just have to pay them. :oops:
Kennedy
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by Kennedy »

I made a concerted effort to remove myself (and family members) from these aggregate sites about a year ago. I figured it wouldn't do me any good just to remove my name since anyone trying to track me down for nefarious reasons could google my spouse's name (as well as adult children) and find me there as an associated person.

It was a real pain in the butt since the sites wouldn't accept the same email address (which you have to provide) for more than one person. And since I didn't want my REAL email address added to their records, I had to make a dummy address for each family member- and keep them straight.

I found that the request to be taken down was always granted, but my name popped back up again several months down the road. I then just focused on hammering down sites that had my actual address and ignored those that used previous addresses. It really is a pain, and I'm curious what people's experiences are for the paid sites that assist with data removal.
Kennedy
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by Kennedy »

I should add that there was one site (maybe whitepages?) that wouldn't remove my information until I submitted a copy of my ID. I chose not to do that since I figured the information from my ID would just get added to my "file."
dboeger1
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by dboeger1 »

I realize this isn't what you asked, but I think it's relevant. If what you care about is complete privacy, then yes, it might be worth trying to get such information removed. If what you care about is security/authentication, that's a somewhat different but related issue that has other better solutions that you should implement first. While it's true that there may be security implications of publicly available personally identifying information, such as an identity thief constructing a profile of you from multiple sources and using it steal your tax refund or perform a SIM swap, there are things you can do to mitigate some of these issues. Using a good randomly-generated-password manager and multi-factor authentication on all accounts and not advertising to the public which accounts you hold with which email addresses is top priority. A step further would be to use 2 different email addresses, 1 for communication and 1 for important accounts. It won't protect you from data breaches, but at least someone knowing your email address wouldn't be able to just start guessing passwords. Of course, you want to update your credentials any time a site you use notifies you of a breach. There are also sites that let you check if your data has been compromised in any known breaches. Once you reach certain levels of net worth, it might also make sense to split your assets up between multiple accounts just to spread your risk, assuming you don't choose any blatantly insecure sites. You also want to take steps to prevent and remove malware, phishing emails, etc. You can also freeze credit profiles. Your high school classmates being able to look up where you live is generally of much lower consequence than cyber attacks and data breaches.

The main exceptions are of course people with very public personas and also victims of domestic violence or other targeted threats. For them, it really is about keeping hidden from the would-be searchers. For most others, I wouldn't kid myself into thinking I was protected by focusing on that information. If you do anything in public, you are vulnerable, and that's okay. I'm used to using Craigslist for buying and selling locally, but my wife uses some phone app that basically does the same thing. However, I noticed it seems to be significantly more popular with young adult women, I guess because of the perception that Craigslist is for creepy old dudes. My wife sends me out to pick up these items, and I kid you not, like 95+% of the time, it's some young lady who is paranoid that I'm like a serial murderer or something, so they never give me their phone numbers or exact addresses. They always hide their number while calling me, and It's always, "Oh, go to this block, then wait to hear from me and I'll give you directions." So then they call, and they're like, "Okay, now go down this street, and see the yellow house?" (note that it's never exactly the color they say, they'll say yellow and it's practically the same old beige as all the neighbors) "Yeah, I live in one of those units. My boyfriend is coming down now to meet you." And then I wait around for 20 minutes before they call me back to say, "Oh sorry, my boyfriend is still on his way home from work." Then another 20 minutes go by and another call, "Okay, my boyfriend is outside looking for you but can't see you". And so they have to give me more directions, and finally I get to the right door, and literally every time, the girl and her boyfriend answer together. So all that trouble just to control me, only to lead me to the door in the end anyway. And every time, I think, "Wow, if I was really trying to hurt somebody, this wouldn't be nearly as much of an obstacle as it is for me trying to save $20 on a used Ikea end table." I've had more than my fair share of experiences exactly like this from just that app. I'm at the point where I refuse to play those games anymore and I just tell my wife to get those things herself. At some level, you just kind of have to acknowledge that the steps you're taking mostly work on the good guys and don't really do much if anything to stop the bad guys if you're living any kind of normal public life.
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lthenderson
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by lthenderson »

waltman300 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:23 pm I was curious if they actually owned property or things like that. Is there a way to find out this information online such as if its public information?
Depends on the state whether or not you can do so for free. Many states have it free and you can go to country or state assessor's site and do a search for deed holder name. Some states/counties require a minimal fee to access the information.
SteadyOne
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by SteadyOne »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:05 pm
SteadyOne wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:37 pm I use https://joindeleteme.com/ and it worked for me. Yes, you have to pay for the service and it’s not 100% effective. But good enough.
I'm curious; what types of info have been removed for you?

Broken Man 1999
In most cases everything in people search engines as if I do not exist. For example checkpeople.com does not show me anymore. Same with beenverified.com and similar. There is still information from my old college papers and so on, but it reduced my footprint a lot. But it takes time after you sign up to delete all these
“Every de­duc­tion is al­lowed as a mat­ter of leg­isla­tive grace.” US Federal Court
Broken Man 1999
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Re: How to opt out of people search sites?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

SteadyOne wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:21 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:05 pm
SteadyOne wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:37 pm I use https://joindeleteme.com/ and it worked for me. Yes, you have to pay for the service and it’s not 100% effective. But good enough.
I'm curious; what types of info have been removed for you?

Broken Man 1999
In most cases everything in people search engines as if I do not exist. For example checkpeople.com does not show me anymore. Same with beenverified.com and similar. There is still information from my old college papers and so on, but it reduced my footprint a lot. But it takes time after you sign up to delete all these
Thanks!

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
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