Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever for anyone to learn everything about you

In the past when someone wanted to get personal information about someone, they had to go to a courthouse or another government office to request records.  In some cases, this request could not be in writing sent via U.S. Mail and had to be in person, so that just made the whole process a little tougher.  A lot of your personal information was publicly available, but it was not as easy to gain access to as it is today.

Some say that we are living in a connected world and everything will just become more connected as time goes on. They may be referring to the “internet of things” and the changes in technology allowing us to have all sorts of devices connected to each other and or through the internet to supposedly make our lives easier. In reality, it also applies to information which is becoming more and more connected.  What once used to be an innocent purchase on a credit card at store has now turned into a data-miners dream.  That purchase can tell a lot about you.  The information about that purchase could be sold or shared by the store or the credit card company to give people a glimpse into your life.  Do you shop at high-end stores or lower end stores?  How much did you spend?  What did you buy?  Did you buy something that may lead someone to believe that you are a homeowner?  Is there a company out there that may feel that based on your purchases, or based on the information learned about you by tracking the information about a years worth of purchases, or five years worth of purchases, you would be a good target for them in their advertising?  If they combine this information with your personal information such as that found online, they may also see that you just bought a home in a neighborhood that has a high crime rate.  Depending on what info they have access to, they may also see your average household income.  Advertising costs money, so a company selling products and services to homeowners will get a better bang for their buck by targeting someone like you. In this case, a company offering a security system may now know that you are a new homeowner who shops at high-end stores, likely has disposable income and lives in a neighborhood with a high crime rate.  You may be the perfect potential customer for them.

Your personal information is the same way. You know it and while you have likely seen the advertisements for people search sites, you have probably failed to admit to yourself that your personal information is out there for everyone to see.  Remember, you are probably the same person that thinks twice about posting your full home address on social media, would not even think about putting your phone number out there for the whole world to see online, does not advertise the information about your criminal record or traffic tickets and does not spill the beans on a bankruptcy you may have filed, what your average household income is or what you really paid for a house you bought.  But the truth is that you don’t have to because the information is already out there.

Start removing your info here

If you don’t believe me, look for yourself.  Use a search engine and search for “people search site” and pick a good looking result. Run your name or the name of a friend or family member through the site’s search feature and see what the results show.  If you don’t want to search right now, just view this page on our site and you will see 20 plus sites that show your personal information.

As previously mentioned, your information is out there.  Some may say this is a good thing.  People use people search sites for many reasons.  They may be looking for old friends, classmates from many years ago, buddies they served with in the Military many years ago and have since lost touch with or maybe they are looking for some background information on someone they met at a party the other night before they go out on a date with them.  There are a lot of reasons that the information is online, available and used by many people.

It is worth noting that requesting to remove your info from these people search sites is not going to stop the information from ever being released again.  A lot of the information comes from proprietary databases which could be made up of information bought and sold by data brokers.  Information such as an address, household income, phone number and email address you entered into a form for a contest you were signing up for. It could come from newspaper and magazine subscription information, from surveys you completed on and offline and it could have come from federal, state and local government agency sources that release allow access to your information.  I do think that it is safe to say that while you can try to stop the release of the information at the source, that is all but impossible and would be like playing a game of whack-a-mole for the rest of your life.  What you can do now with a little bit of effort is to request that the people search sites remove, suppress or edit your information if they allow it.

Not all people search sites provide a way for you to remove, suppress and edit your personal information and by law they are not required to do so, but we have found that the majority of them will do it in the best interest of your privacy.  Some people search sites make it as easy as sending them an email with some information to help them track down your record for deletion, others provide an online form and yet others may require you to contact them via U.S. Mail or send a fax and may even require valid state issued ID as proof of your identity.

There is no better day than today to look at our list of people search sites and click them for detailed information on how to request to remove your personal information.  We have done the hard work for you.  We have researched the sites that offer a way for you to remove your info and we will keep adding more as we find them.  Do you really want anyone with an internet connection to know so much about your personal life?  Requesting to remove your info from these sites is not going to be quick, but it is a start at helping to protect your personal information.

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