I don’t want you to remove your personal info from the internet, but you probably should

Look… I don’t know you and truth be told, I may never truly know you.  What you need to know is that I don’t really need to know you, to learn all about you.  You could be someone that I come into contact with during the day such as a worker at a restaurant that shares your name with me, a teller at a bank with a name tag or maybe even a name listed on a business card.  With that little bit of information and a little creativity, it is likely that I can learn enough information about you to actually make you feel uncomfortable.  The sad thing is that you can do the same thing that I can do and learn all about someone in a matter of a few minutes. So, as you reflect on what you just read, know that everyone can easily find your personal information online with just a few clicks.

Let me take a few minutes to run through a little scenario.   We will assume that I met you at a conference and you handed me a business card.  On this business card is your first and last name along with the address of the business you work at.  Based on your appearance, I am guessing you are in your mid to late 20’s.

I now know your first and last name, a good idea of the state and maybe even the city where you may reside and an approximate age.  For whatever reason, I want to learn all about you.  I want to know your current address, previous addresses, phone numbers, names of relatives and associates, criminal and traffic records, property information, social networking profiles, and more.

All I have to do is go to my favorite search engine and type in “people search website” or “free background check” and I will be presented with a lot of results.  Once I pick the site I like, I can enter your first and last name, along with a city and or state.  I will then be shown results that match or are similar to the name and location and I can select the result that I think is the best match.  From here I can learn more about you than you ever thought was available on the internet.

Start removing your info here

Scary, huh?  Anyone can do it.  You can look up your own name and test it out and you may be surprised at the results.  So, as the title mentioned, “I don’t want you to remove your personal info from the internet” because I am nosy and like being able to check up on people, but as the title also states “you probably should” remove your info.  Not everyone is looking at your personal information because they are nosy.  Someone may be looking into your personal information with ill intentions… whatever they may be.

Don’t blame the people search sites.  You gave up your personal information at some point in the past and it has been shared, bought and sold over and over again and is now available for free and for a price online.  This information has been available for years to those that knew how to access the information.  It is just now getting in the public’s eye because the internet makes it so easy to find anything about anyone.  The information comes from federal, state and local government records and databases, marketing databases, voter registration, and a lot more.

There is hope.  Most legitimate people search sites provide an option for you to request to remove, alter or hide your information.  The only problem is that you have to request your information be removed for each people search site.  There is a list of people search sites here along with information on what you have to do to remove your info, but it takes time.  If you want your information removed, you will spend the time and effort to request that it is removed.

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Police Officers and Veterans may want to consider removing their personal information from people search sites

Are you a Military Veteran or a Law Enforcement Officer?  Have you ever thought about how easy it would be for someone to track you down and find some of the most personal details of your life even with them only knowing a little bit of information about you to start with?  If someone only knew your first and last name, a state where you probably lived and a guess for your age, they can find out where you live, names and addresses for family members, and more.

Have you ever seriously considered what information someone could find out about you with less than a minute of searching and little to no money invested in the search?  Results will vary based on the site, but most people search sites will provide the following information in a record for someone that was searched in their system:

  • Full name (First, Middle and Last names)
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Current and previous phone numbers
  • Criminal and Traffic records
  • Property and land purchase or sale information
  • Bankruptcy and other court records
  • Name of family members, associates and neighbors (with links to their records which contain information about them)
  • Some people search sites will provide information about average household income
  • Some people search sites will provide license information such as concealed carry, hunting, fishing, boating, etc..

All the information above can be learned by only knowing the first and last name and the city and or state where they likely live.  A little scary, huh? You may also be able to find the information above by doing a reverse search on a phone number.

Start removing your info here

Some sites will provide the information for free while some may charge a fee for the record or require a searcher to subscribe to their search service.  Regardless, with very little effort, your information can be found and it can be found fast.Do you remember the news reports about the “ISIS Hit Lists” that supposedly listed the names and addresses of many U.S. Servicemembers?  Well, while ISIS wanted the world to think that they had breached U.S. Government servers and obtained the information, but news reports have stated that instead, they simply found names of Servicemembers from news articles and used google to find personal information about that Servicemember.  Think about how easy it was for them to see an article mentioning John Doe from Anytown, U.S.A. doing good things for his or her country overseas, then being able to use the name and location to find out where they live, names of family members and neighbors, phone numbers, and more.

We have a list of 29 people search sites that are commonly used.  These people search sites, while not required by law, do provide some sort of method to request to remove your personal information, suppress the information or edit the information stored in their systems.  The problem is that a lot of people don’t want to spend the time to go to each site and request to have their information removed.  To make it even more difficult, the process to request to remove our info is not the same for each site.  Some of the people search sites will allow you to request the removal via an online form, some by U.S. Mail, some by email and some by fax.  Each site is different and we have the directions for each site listed in this list of people search sites.

We do not charge to remove your personal information nor do we do it for you.  We simply provide the directions on how you can request to remove your personal information from people search sites.

Here is the kicker. You have to request to remove your information from each site individually and that is not going to happen overnight.  It is going to take time, but if you really want to scrub as much of your personal information from these people search sites as you can, then you will take the time to do so.

Start removing your info here

Now, how about a little bit of bad news for you before you either choose to head off and start requesting to remove your info from the people search sites or just go back to surfing the internet not too worried that someone will have access to your personal information.  The bad news is that the information compiled by the people search sites and presented in an easy to search and read format is publicly accessible information.  The information comes from federal, state, county and municipal records and databases. The information comes from marriage and death records, voter registration ballots, change of address forms, utility information and more.  The information may also have come from magazine subscriptions you had 15 years ago, newspaper subscriptions, contests you entered, websites and apps your registered for and maybe had to provide some information such as your zip code or average household income and plenty of other sources.  The sources of information are almost impossible to track down in their entirety and unless you are able to go directly to all the sources, you will always be playing a game of whack-a-mole trying to limit access to your personal information online.

Here is how I look at this.  Anyone that I have come into contact with that wants to know where I live or where my family members live, is probably a pretty lazy person.  They may use one or two people search sites and if no information is returned to them, they will probably give up.  The odds of someone using 25 plus people search sites in an attempt to learn my personal information is very slim and if they do succeed, then good for them.  I am sure that by removing my personal information from as many people search sites as I have, I have stopped plenty of other people from being able to find my family and I easily.

If you do think that you would like to start removing your personal information from these people search sites, just follow the instructions for the people search sites listed on this page.

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Going on vacation? Don’t advertise it on social media.

Everyone loves the idea of a vacation.  Some like it so much that they jump at the idea of sharing the information about their upcoming vacation on social media so their family and friends know they are going.  What they fail to realize is that they have just told the internet they will be away from their home during a specific time and this means that anyone reading the information will know they have plenty of time to get into their home and take what they want while the occupants are gone on vacation.

You may be one of those people that will share something on social media like:

“So excited.  Just got our tickets to Disney! Leaving the 23rd of next month and we will be there a week!  I can’t wait”.  

While you have yet to post your home address on social media, it is not hard for someone to find out.  Running your name along with city and or state through a people search site will give anyone any information they need about you to find out where you live.  So, in reality, you just shared with the world something similar to:

“So excited.  Just got our tickets to Disney which means we probably have expendable income because we can afford a vacation and we probably have nice stuff in our home.  We are leaving the 23rd of next month and we will be there all week and away from our home at 123 Main Street, Anytown, USA.  You can actually call our home using the landline phone number listed in our people search record to see if we answer.  I can’t wait for someone to possibly break into our home and spend a week taking what they want from us!”

It is not just letting people know that you are going on vacation that puts you at risk.  Simple information such as where you work can allow someone to call that business, ask to speak with you and if they say “hold on and we will transfer the call”, there is a really good chance you are away at work and not at home.  That means they can possibly get into your home, take what they want, then leave knowing you are still away at work.

Does your profile say “single”?  You are basically letting someone know there is a good chance you will be home alone or that if you are at work, nobody will be left in your home.

You may be asking yourself how you can limit the personal information that people with ill intent will have access to.  The quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way for someone to do a little research on you and have access to your personal information is through people search sites.  These sites will tell someone your age, current and past addresses, current and past phone numbers, names of neighbors, relatives and associates, criminal and traffic record information, possibly your average household income, and more. Removing your info from these people search sites is a good first step.

Start removing your info here

Most people search sites provide an easy way for you to remove your personal information due to privacy concerns, but there are a bunch of people search sites out there and you have to request removal from each one individually.  Requesting to remove your info will take time, but it may help to protect you and your property in the long run.  Unfortunately, it seems like there are always new people search sites popping up and the new ones seem to advertise better, more in-depth and more accurate information, so it is a game of cat and mouse.  You will need to check back and see if there are any new sites that are sharing your information and request to remove that information.

God luck and if you are going on a vacation, don’t advertise it to the world through the internet.  Do what many people do and just share photos and stories of your vacation when you have returned.  Remember, you don’t really know who is reading the information you share online.  Be smart about what you share and be smart about allowing your personal information to be as freely available as it already is.

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Thanks Internet. It’s been fun, but now I am going to clean up my personal information online

aolI know the internet as we know it is pretty new, but even for an old person like me it seems to have been around forever.  I first accessed the world wide web when I was about 20 years old using one of my 1,000 free hours that AOL sent me on a CD-Rom.  My modem made those cool noises that the younger generation today will never know, and after some beeps and hums as I connected AOL, I was off to surf the web. Never did I imagine that the internet would become what it is today and never did I imagine that my personal information would be so easy for anyone to access online.

Since I first stepped  my virtual foot onto the web, I have signed up for countless email accounts. Some were abandoned due to forgotten passwords, some because better email services were introduced and I quickly jumped ship. I have probably registered on hundreds, if not thousands of websites to gain access to content that was only available to members and to participate in discussions in message boards and forums.  More recently, with the huge advances in mobile, I have downloaded well more than 100 apps for my phone, some requiring registration.  Until now, I never really thought about what was really happening to the information I provided such as my name, city, state, age, valid email and sometimes more.  I know they probably laid it all out in the fine print, but who really reads all that stuff anyway.

tv_guideBefore the internet became so popular, us older folks paid for magazine subscriptions.  If you wanted to keep up on cars and trucks, you anxiously awaited for those magazines to arrive each month.  Did you want to learn about the latest and greatest in the science world, there were magazines for that.  How about knowing what was going to be on TV this week and the next few weeks.  Yes, you could subscribe to the TV Guide which would make sure you knew when your shows would be on which channel.  Like today, I never really thought about what happened to the information I provided when I subscribed to those magazines either.

Well, I have since learned that personal information is worth a lot of money.  I am not talking about personal information obtained by someone to be used in identity theft, but yes, that could be worth a lot of money to someone also.  I am referring to all the little tidbits of information you provide on app and website registrations, voter registration cards, change of address requests with the post office, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and even information provided when joining a discount card program at a store.  Have you ever thought about what happens to that information?  Well, in some cases, the information is packaged up and sold through data brokers.  These would be people or companies dealing with personal information of hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of people.  Information such as the latest address used in a subscription or registration, you latest phone number or even your age range.  This information is valuable to companies such as those trying to get you to buy a product or service.  While your little bit of information may not seem to be worth a lot of money to you, combine it with the same type of information for a million people and you could see how someone would want to pay to have access to that much valid up-to-date personal information.

Start removing your info here

So, you may be thinking that you will be a little more cautious when filling out the forms from now on.  Do you remember that contest for the trip to Aruba that you saw advertised a few years back?  All you had to do was fill out some basic information on a small piece of paper and drop it in the box for a chance to enter.  Did you ever win?  Probably not.  Did you just provide a bunch of current personal information about yourself to someone you have never met and have no idea what they are going to do with it?  Yes.  Face it, your personal information is being collected everywhere.

The government even makes personal information publicly available about you and there is really not much you can do about that.  Property records, marriage and death records, court records, voter registration information, and voter_regmore, all containing little snippets of your personal information and life.  There are databases of information at the federal, state, county and local level that are accessed by companies in a legitimate way, but on a much wider scale than you or I typically would.  For example, if you wanted to get a copy of marriage certificate for someone in your family, you may drive down to a courthouse and request that one document.  This same document, or the data for the document such as the names, date and location, may be available in an electronic format and publicly available, but most of us don’t know how to access that information or have the right tools to do so.  There are companies out there that acquire this data by the hundreds of thousands or by the millions and present it in a user-friendly way and they are good at it.  Combine the publicly available information from the government with the years or decades of information you have been providing without thinking about it and someone can get a really good glimpse at your personal life.

A simple search for a person in many of the people search sites will reveal the name, age, current address and phone numbers, past addresses and phone numbers, names of neighbors, relatives and associates, social networking accounts and email addresses, information about any property or home they may have purchased, criminal and traffic records and in some cases, the average household income.

People search sites are a great example of acquiring publicly accessible data and data obtained through other sources and presenting them in a format that is easily read.  These sites allow anyone with an internet connection to type in a first name, last name, and a location, to ultimately be presented with a list of matches for the information.  They can then look through those matches to view additional information.  A simple search for a person in many of the people search sites will reveal the name, age, current address and phone numbers, past addresses and phone numbers, names of neighbors, relatives and associates, social networking accounts and email addresses, information about any property or home they may have purchased, criminal and traffic records and in some cases, the average household income.  Some people search sites offer some information for free with an option to pay for a more in-depth report about a person, but in many cases the even the information that you can view for free about you offered on these sites may not be information you necessarily everyone to have easy access to.

Start removing your info here

Lucky for those of us that value our privacy, most of the legitimate people search sites offer a way to request to have your information removed from their system.  Some people search sites make it easy by allowing you to use an online form, while others may require you to mail your request through the U.S. Mail or fax the request to them.  It does not really matter how they want you to request to remove your info, the good thing is that they give you an option.

This website has a growing list of some of the most popular people search sites and directions on how to request to either remove, suppress, or edit your information for each site.  Last I checked, I think all but one were free to request to remove your information.  Going through the list and removing your data from each people search site is not an easy task and will take a while, but if you don’t want your personal information so easily obtainable online, you will spend the time to do it.

I hope the information above helped.  If you know of a people search site that is not listed, please let this site know so we can research the site and add it to our list so others can benefit also.

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27 People search sites and how to remove your personal info from them

Have you ever searched for yourself in one of the many people search sites on the internet?  They have information about your current and past addresses, phone numbers, names of relatives, neighbors, and associates.  They offer information about traffic tickets you may have received, bankruptcies, property purchases, average household incomes, social networking accounts, email addresses you have used and much more.  Some offer the information for free and some offer the information for a fee.

The information shown in the records on these sites are obtained from the federal, state, county and municipal databases, along with other databases of information which are bought and sold on the internet.  These people search sites contain a wealth of information on you and if you don’t want your personal information being so freely available, you can request to have it removed on most of the people search sites.

We have compiled a growing list of 27 people search sites that are commonly used and offer a way to request to either remove, suppress or edit your information.  These people search sites are not required by law to give someone a means to request to remove their information from the site, but we have found that the more respectable people search sites offer this option.

Start removing your info here

Requesting to remove your information is going to take a little work because you have to request the removal from each people search site individually, but taking a few minutes each day and going down our list of people search sites s a good start to help begin policing what is available about you online.

If you know of a people search site that is not listed, please contact us and tell us about it so we can add it to the list.

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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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20+ sites that share your personal information and how to get it removed

What if I were to tell you that with only your name and an estimate of your age plus an idea of what state you live in, I could find out your address, phone numbers, real age, information about property you may have purchased, bankruptcy information, a list of traffic tickets you received, names of neighbors and family, and a list of social networking sites that you use and maybe even your average household income. Would you be surprised?  What if you did not want to be found so easily or were in a job where someone knowing that information could put you or your family at risk?

Start removing your info here

Some may say no, they are not surprised, but I think it is safe to say that most would say yes.  There are many websites out there that offer services, some paid, some free, that allow you to enter a first and last name and choose a state to see a list of people in that state that have the same or similar names.  Clicking a simple link associated with a name can open the door to a lot of publicly available info compiled into a nicely designed report that tells someone pretty much everything they ever wanted to know about you, and it is most of the same stuff that you consciously do not share on the internet because it is too personal.

Don’t believe me?  Click this link and select a service and try it out for yourself.  Worried what you may see about yourself?  Type in the name of a friend or family member and see what information is offered about them.  Are you still surprised?

Your personal information is highly sought after.  Not only by websites that offer people search service, but also marketers.  Places you shop at, clubs and organizations you belong to, areas where you live, your employment history, driving history, and a lot more can be used to paint a picture about you.  It gives people a chance to get to know you without even knowing you and can be used for marketing purposes, to help reconnect with long lost friends and unfortunately, for nefarious purposes.

A lot of the data shown on people search sites is publicly available data from federal, state and local sources.  Marriage certificates, court records, and other information is compiled by companies, connecting the dots with others listed in the information to help formulate a list of possible family, associates and neighbors.  It is not really hard to determine who your neighbors may be.  A simple look at your address and then looking at who lives in the houses beside you will give them that information, but what if someone wanted to get in touch with you and you were avoiding them.  What if someone wanted to learn what type of vehicle you drove or when you left the house for the day.  A simple call  to a neighbor listed in your record who also has their address and phone number listed may do the trick.

While requesting to remove your personal information from people search sites is like using a wad of bubblegum to patch a hole in a dam, it is better than doing nothing.  Your information will still be shared unless you work to stop the information sharing at the source, but again, doing something is better than nothing.

Look at the list of people search sites here.  Choose a service and follow the instructions to request to remove your personal information. Just keep in mind that the people search sites are not required by law to remove your info, so by them giving you an option do to do they are going above and beyond what they are required to do as a business.  Just know that your name and info is always being shared at many different levels and any change to the spelling of your name, address, new property purchases, or even a new phone number, may cause your information to be put back into the people search sites.  Requesting to remove your personal info is somewhat time consuming and something that you will have to keep on top of in the future. Check those people search sites in a few months and see if your information has reappeared and if so, follow the instructions we provide to request to remove your info again.

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Most internet users probably spend more time watching cat videos than protecting their personal information

fingers_on_keyboardAsk any of your friends how much time they spend per week or per month watching videos online and the answers may not seem too shocking.  Thirty minutes, two hours, and likely even more time.  Now ask the same friends how much time they spend working to help keep their personal information out of the hands of other people online and they will probably pause to think for a couple of seconds before telling you “none”.

Why is it that your friends, and probably yourself also, have spent little to no time trying to police the personal information that is currently available about you online? You probably had no idea it was as easy to get as it really is and almost easier to remove or limit access to.

Right now, your personal information is being shuffled around for a price by data brokers. Everything about you to include your name, age, phone number, address, information about traffic tickets you received, bankruptcy information, names of neighbors, names of relatives and more.  This data is not only obtained from federal, state and local sources, but also from the magazine subscriptions you filled out, the contest entry form for that trip to the Bahamas you completed a few years back, the registration on a popular site that may have sold your information to a third party.  The information is out there and everyone has access to it.  In some instances, the information is free.  In others, people are paying money to learn more about you.  You personal information is being sold.

Start removing your info here

There are websites out there that make money offering your information.  Many of them only require a first and last name and a city and state or maybe even just a state to see records that could contain a lot of personal information about you.  Even if there are multiple people in your area that have the same name, it would not be hard to figure out which one was you based on the age listed and maybe the previous known addresses.

Now, what can this information be used for?  Some sites offer it as a way to find people you have lost contact with.  Others may offer the information as a way to do a sort of informal background check on someone.  But all the legitimate people search sites make it very clear that they are not a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). They also mention that their site can’t be used for employment, credit or tenant screening, or related purpose.  Does that mean that everyone that uses their site to research someone is honest?  Possibly not.  What if you were an employer and had someone come in an apply for a job.  Imagine yourself plugging their information into one of the many people search sites and returning a result which shows multiple traffic tickets, maybe a bankruptcy, or some other information which will help you to form a preconceived notion about what type of person they are.  Are you just as likely to hire them?  Hopefully the answer would be “I would never look up there information as a means of employment screening” and we just leave it at that, but you probably get my point.

So, why don’t people spend a little bit of time each week, or each month, limiting access to their personal information online?  They probably don’t know that it is even an option.  If you were to run a search of your name through one of the people search sites that also included your household income in the results. would you be happy that everyone that looks up your name with that site has such easy access to that information.  I think it is safe to say that the majority would say no.  So, why not start limiting access to that information today?

Click this link and you will see a list of 20 plus people search sites that probably list detailed personal information for you.  We have detailed instructions on how to request to remove your information from their system, or in some cases, hide it or limit what is seen about you if that is the best the site offers.  You need to keep in mind that the people search sites are a business and they are also not required by law to remove your information from their system, so just because they list details about your personal life, the fact they are giving you a chance to remove your information is pretty generous of them.

By now I hope you gave some serious consideration to dedicating a couple of hours a week or each month to limiting the personal information about you online, because in the end if it is left untouched, it is nobody’s fault but your own.  In reality, we are only putting the finger in the dam to try to stop it from leaking and your personal information will continue to be shared, but if we can keep even one person from having easy access to it for nefarious purposes, then any time spent working on limiting access to it will be time well spent.

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