Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Protect your personal information by opting-out of background check websites

Whether or not you're an open or a super private individual, your personal details are spread online on various websites that aggregate information from public records or your social media. If you don't believe me, just Google yourself and be horrified. By searching your name, information such as your address, address history, and family members can easily be found by anyone on the following websites:


  • Intelius.com
  • Acxiom.com
  • MyLife.com
  • ZabaSearch.com
  • Spoke.com
  • BeenVerified.com
  • PeekYou.com
  • USSearch.com
  • PeopleFinders.com
  • PeopleLookup.com
  • PeopleSmart.com
  • PrivateEye.com
  • WhitePages.com
  • USA-People-Search.com
  • Spokeo.com
  • PublicRecordsNow.com
  • DOBSearch.com
  • Radaris.com
  • Knowing all of these websites exist, how do you protect your privacy?

    Luckily, Reddit user LawyerCT compiled a handy list of how to opt-out, and the list can be found on Reddit. The post was submitted three years ago so some of the information is outdated. However, the list is still easy to navigate, although the process itself does take time because you have to go through each background check website one by one.

    The downside to all this work, however, is that it doesn't opt you out for the future. For instance, if you remove yourself from MyLife, but later, you buy a home, your home buying record will create a new record for you that will appear on all of these sites. Public records have always been public like their name suggests, but with the internet it is now way too easy to find information about someone. However it is not illegal for these websites to exist and they do offer free opt-out options so it looks as if these types of sites are never going away.

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