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How to Remove Yourself From People Search Directories

by on March 05, 2021
in , Computers and Software, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy :: 71 comments

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Between publicly available information and what we share on social networks, there's a lot of information about you available online. A quick search of your name can turn up some pretty surprising things, including your home address or old social media posts you'd rather not see the light of day. Websites that specialize in people searches, designed to help marketers advertise to you or to help old friends track you down, are the worst offenders. These sites often provide detailed personal information with the click of a button.

So how can you reclaim your private data? It's tricky, because there are lots of sites that collect personal data. However, you can lock down your social profiles and request to be removed from major search sites — you'll have to make a request with each site individually — to make your personal data harder to find.

Keep social media to yourself

Because many search sites pull data from publicly available social media profiles, reducing the data in your profile will help. You can start by simply not filling out your full profile. If you want even less information available for search engines to find, make your social accounts private. Here's how.

If you're a fan of Facebook, you may not want to completely lock down your account. In this case, you should still go to your privacy settings and select "No" next to "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?" This will keep your Facebook posts off search engines for more privacy (read our complete guide to Facebook privacy settings).

Get rid of unused accounts

Since many people search sites pick up information from your publicly available profiles, one way to get that data away from search engines is to simply delete your accounts. This isn't a practical option for every site, but there's a good chance you have some online accounts that you just don't use anymore. Get that data offline so no one can find it by deleting the account entirely.

Remove yourself from people searches directly

The next step is getting your data off the major people search sites themselves. You can remove your listing from most of them, but it takes time and some legwork. Once you’ve submitted your request, removing your information takes anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the site.

If your name or address changes, a previous request to delete your information may not work any more. Check back with these sites if your information changes to make sure your data stays offline.

See the requirements for major search sites below.

BeenVerified

Go to the BeenVerified opt-out page and search for your listing by providing your first and last name and state. Click on the arrow to the right of your profile. Enter your email, check the "I'm not a robot box," and click the "Send Verification Email."  You'll receive an email with a link you need to click to confirm your opt-out.

FastPeopleSearch

Go to the FastPeopleSearch Removal page and check the "I am a human" box. Complete the Captcha. Enter your email, check the box agreeing that you are removing your own record, check the box "I'm not a robot," and click on the "Begin Removal Process." Enter your name and zip code and click on the "Free Search" box. Click on "View Free Details" on your profile. Click on "Remove My Record." You will receive an email to perform the final removal and your profile should disappear from search within 72 hours.

Intelius

Go to the Intelius opt-out page. Answer the question "Are you currently or have you ever been an Intelius customer?" (Whether the answer is yes or no, you can still remove your information.) Provide your first and last name, state, and email address. A confirmation email will be sent for final removal of your profile. 

Instant Checkmate

Search for your listing from the Instant Checkmate Opt-Out page, which requires just your first and last name. Click on "Remove this record." Input your email, check the "I'm not a robot" box, and click on the "Send Confirmation Email" button. You will receive an email to perform the final removal and your profile should disappear from search within 48 hours.

MyLife

Search for your listing (be sure to toggle on "This is me") on MyLife and claim your name. You will be urged to subscribe, but you can choose to keep your free profile by clicking on "Go Back to Free Profile." You can change the data on your public profile, but you can't lock other people out of your profile without subscribing to the MyLife service.

MyLife lock profile

There is a $1 3-day trial if you want to see all the information MyLife.com has on you. If you don't cancel your 3-day trial, you'll be billed $29.95 per month. 

PeekYou

Search for your listing on PeekYou and note the number at the end of the URL.

PeekYou listing

Then go to PeekYou's Opt-Out page and enter your name, email address and the number from your profile URL to be removed. Click the "I'm not a robot" box, check the boxes confirming that you are providing correct information and that you understand that your information will not be removed from anywhere other than PeekYou, and click the "Submit" button.

PeopleSmart

Go to PeopleSmart's Help page and click on "Out-Out Policy." PeopleSmart's Opt-out process is managed by BeenVerified, so you'll be redirected to the Been Verified site. In the popup window, click on "Do Not Sell My Info." Search for your profile by inputting your first and last name (and state if you need to narrow things down). Select your profile by clicking on the right arrow next to your profile. Enter your email, check the "I'm not a robot" box, and click "Send Verification Email." When you receive the email, you can finalize removing your profile. If you have already opted out of BeenVerified, you're covered for PeopleSmart as well.

PeopleFinders

Search for your listing on Peoplefinders. Click on "View Details" next to your profile. You'll see a page offering an Instant Report. Copy the URL of that page.

PeopleFinders

Go to the PeopleFinders Opt-out page and paste the URL into the "Enter the URL" box. Enter your email address, check the "I'm not a robot" box, and select "Send Request." To finish removing your profile, you'll need to click on the verification link that's sent to your email address. 

Pipl

To remove your personal information, go to the Pipl Request Removal of Your Personal Information page. Fill out your first and last name, your email address, make your request in the "Message" box, and hit submit.

Pipl remove listing form

You'll have to complete the reCAPTCHA to send your request. Pipl says that they may need to reach out to verify your request, so you'll want to monitor your email over the next few days to ensure your request goes through. My confirmation of removal arrived within a few hours.

PrivateEye

Go to the PrivateEye Contact page and click on "Click Here to Opt Out." Fill in your first and last name, city, and state, check the "I'm not a robot" box, and click the "Opt out" button. PrivateEye scrapes data from other sites. So if your information is still online with other services, you may see your listing pop up again. 

Radaris

Search for your listing on Radaris. Click on "Full Profile" next to your listing. Click the down arrow next to the "Background Check & Contact Info" button on the right side of the page and select "Control Information" from the drop-down and then "Manage Info."

Radaris listing

You'll then need to create an account by providing your email address and cellphone number to verify your account or by logging in with Facebook or Google. Click on "View My Account" and you can make your profile private or delete your information.

Spokeo

Search for your listing on Spokeo. Click the "See Results" button next to your profile to see your listing page. Then copy and paste the listing page URL and your email address into Spokeo's opt-out form.

Spokeo listing page

You'll receive an email with a link you need to click to confirm your opt-out. 

TruthFinder

Search for your listing on the TruthFinder Opt-Out page. Click the "Remove This Record" button next to your profile. Enter your email address, check the "I'm not a robot" box, and click on the "Send Confirmation Email" button. You'll need to click on the verification link that's sent to your email address to complete the process of removing your profile.

TruePeopleSearch

Go to the TruePeopleSearch Removal page and enter your name, zip code, and email; check the box verifying it's your information you're removing; check the "I'm not a robot" box, and click on the "Begin Removal" button. 

USA People Search

Go to the USA People Search Opt Out page and scroll down to the section "Instructions for record removal." Enter your email address and check the boxes that acknowledge that USA People Search will block your records and that you have read and agreed to their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Check the box "I'm not a robot," and click the "Begin Removal Process." Search for your listing. Click on the "View Details" button next to your listing. You may see an ad pop up before you see your listing page. On your listing page, click on the "Remove Record" button. An email will be sent to complete the process of removing your listing.

US Search

Go to the US Search opt-out page, enter your first and last name, state, and email address, and click the "Continue" button. Click on the "Remove This Record" button next to your listing. An email will be sent to complete the process of removing your listing.

Whitepages

Search for your profile on Whitepages. On the listing page, you'll see some listings with a "Full Report" button next to them and some with a "View Details" button. Find your listing with the "View Details" button and click the "View Details" button.

Whitepages listings

Copy the URL of your listing page and then go to the "Opt-out of Whitepages" page. Paste in your URL and select "Remove Me." Select the reason why you want your information removed and click on "Next." Enter your phone number, check the box that affirms that you are the person whose listing is being removed, and click the "Call now to verify" button. When Whitepages calls, you will enter the verification code on your screen. Once your verification code has been accepted, your listing will be removed within 24 hours.

ZabaSearch

ZabaSearch uses data provided by Intelius, so removing your information from Intelius will remove it from ZabaSearch as well.

Hire someone to do the work for you

If all this sounds like way too much time and effort, you can pay to have someone else do the work for you — or at least some of it. DeleteMe puts in requests to remove your information from major databases, which effectively removes you from a lot of aggregator searches like Pipl. After making its deletion requests, it keeps monitoring those sites in case anything else pops up. While it's still your responsibility to be sure you aren't putting too much information on social media where anyone can easily find it, DeleteMe will keep your info off of the major search sites and send you a privacy report every three months to keep you informed.

As of March 3, 2021, DeleteMe services start at $103 per year for one person, 2 people for $177 per year, or 2 people for 2 years for $265. That's not cheap, but if you weigh the time it would take to individually remove yourself from each of these sites, you may find it worthwhile.

Not sure if you can trust DeleteMe? The service is run by Abine, a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating and a strong privacy policy.

Can anyone find me online now?

Even after going through all of these steps, it's likely you won't completely vanish from the internet. If you're active online, especially if you maintain social media accounts, having some kind of online footprint is hard to avoid. Many online searches simply aggregate publicly available information, and there's always the possibility that new data will appear.

However, taking the time to remove your information from the main services makes you a lot harder for marketers (and anyone else) to track down.

Updated on 3/5/2021 with updated removal instructions

[Search for people via BigStockPhoto]

For the past 20+ years, Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Ten years ago, she founded Techlicious, which serves the role of that tech-savvy friend you can count on to share tips and tricks to get the most out of technology; whether that’s saving time in our hectic schedules, discovering new ways to enjoy our personal interests, or keeping up with the latest technology trends and styles. Before that, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she hosted the radio show “Living with Technology." Previously, she served as Technology Editor for Popular Science Magazine. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.



Discussion loading

Link for PeopleSmart OptOut

From C on January 03, 2018 :: 9:14 pm

Here’s the link to opt out of PeopleSmart. Link is incorrect in the article.

https://www.peoplesmart.com/optout-go

Reply

Celebrities

From Wanda W on January 04, 2018 :: 10:30 pm

If celebrities can hide all their info, why can’t regular people?  I get that they are generally using a trust to buy property, but somewhere there is real information that these companies have on them, yet it’s not searchable.
I just wonder how.

Reply

All but Lexus Nexus....

From Randy Arnold on January 05, 2018 :: 10:47 am

Yes you can remove yourself from all of these with lots and lots of work and aggravation, but you’ll never, never remove yourself from Lexus Nexus, which for a bigger fee KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!!!  This is what Mortgage Lenders use when they’re Underwriting your Loan to ensure you’re not lying or trying to commit fraud.

Good luck!!

Reply

tell all your family and friends

From tony on February 05, 2018 :: 9:20 am

PLEASE tell all your family and friends and anyone who will listen to make an official complaint with the FTC:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1;-1

Reply

Unehtical

From Ma Ra on February 23, 2018 :: 2:59 pm

These companies publish your information without even asking you. They will do anything for money. If you give them enough money I am sure the owners of these companies who publish your information will be happy to sale you their wife or daughter. That is their nature. I took service from Deleteme, but they are not very good when I informed them that my information is in http://peoples.biz web site they could not do anything to remove my information from that website.

Reply

peoples.biz

From Tete on February 28, 2018 :: 4:39 pm

Please, if someone knows, tell me how can I remove my entire info from peoples.biz
I think this is an unauthorized site because they do not show us how to move our info.
My info was already stole before, now I know why, because they got it from the internet
Thanks so much for your help
Tete

Reply

File complaints with FTC, State AG's ,and BBB

From File complaint with FTC and state attorney general on April 23, 2018 :: 7:02 pm

Mylife.com is incorporated in Delaware and Headquartered in California.

Nuwber is incorporated in Virginia.

File complaints with the Attorney General in those states, and your own state.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Reply

Thank you

From CMI on November 10, 2018 :: 9:32 pm

Thanks so much for this…It’s awesome and I’ve gotten myself off all of them.

Reply

ALL people search use voting records

From Jim James on December 09, 2018 :: 10:36 am

ALL of the people search sites use your state voting records to get your addresses, and other personal information. They also use credit records from clearing houses who get that information.

Also many states still sell your drivers license and or state ID information. After a Sh*t storm my state stopped selling DMV information but I found out from my state they still sell or give away my voting registration information.

NEVER have I used my real name, address or any other information that could identify me online and yet they all get my very personal information.

I have removed myself from all the sites via opt-out and a year later all but two put it back online. 

It is time to let everyone you know about this and get your state reps and Federal Congressmen and Senators on point to end this dangerous practice.

I am a retired Detective and Fugitive recovery agent and my life has been turned upside down by these sites who violate the laws with impunity and worse yet pretend to let you opt-out, only to put you back on months later.

Time for Congress to act so get calling NOT Emailing, CALL your Congress man and demand they stop this dangerous practice that helps stalkers get your address information. I had to pay an attorney to put my home and property in a Trust without my name showing on it because I had criminals seek me out for revenge.


Call your congressman because a telephone call = 7500 voters according to their studies per Senator Levin who said this back in the late 1980’s and the number has climbed to 8500 today. That call shows you are serious and get many others to also call.

Don’t forget your state reps who can stop the State you live in from selling your Voter registrations and DMV/Secretary of state address, telephone number data.

Reply

The article is only half the story

From NA NA on April 09, 2019 :: 6:38 pm

In addition to the many issues with whether or not you’re listed *as* you, there’s also the issue that you might be listed attached to someone else’s info as a relative, associate, etc.  No, they won’t tell you how they got the info.  No, they won’t remove such info no matter what reasons you give them (and there can be several reasons for any one such link).  All they’ll tell you is “it comes from easily verified public information”.  Um, no, it didn’t.  Not in my particular case.  It couldn’t have.  The closest thing to “easily verified public information” involves sealed records and the other possibility would be credit histories.  So just how *are* they getting their information?  Why don’t they have any responsibility to correct bad info?

Doesn’t do any good to remove myself if mistaken links, containing all my information or at least enough to easily find me if you really wanted to do so, remain attached to other people to whom it shouldn’t be attached.  Not that it does much good to remove myself, as others have mentioned, removing links that are actually, directly *to* me is temporarily successful at best.  Removed links have a way of reappearing quite regularly.

Reply

Can't opt out of Spokeo -- and they know

From Miranda on May 11, 2019 :: 1:56 am

As several others have mentioned above, Spokeo makes it impossible to opt out, three different ways: First, its system refuses to recognize its own information (URLs) and second, the system will throw you into a ReCaptcha loop if you place more than three requests.  Finally, as others have observed even if you did succeed, they’d simply update their info the next week or month.  Yes, it’ll take legislation and penalties, but no, that’s not likely to happen.

Reply

A Path Right To My Door

From Waiting to Be Hunted Down on October 09, 2019 :: 1:05 am

I should be in bed, but instead I’m up at 1am trying to get my information removed that could possibly get me killed. I have a LIFETIME RESTRAINING ORDER issued on a person that sexually abused me for 14 years. I have done everything I can to stay safe and to keep myself off of public records - I don’t own a home, I don’t do anything that requires me having to put my information into the public records - despite that, this person - this CONVICTED CRIMINAL - is given my address and often photos of my home from these sites.  It should be against the law to actually help criminals find where their victims are living. I’m just sick to my stomach and don’t know what to do. I’ve been opting out as much as I can, but it’s just a never ending cycle and I’m so tired of living like this.

Reply

Thank you!

From Julie Rowland on May 28, 2021 :: 7:57 am

I had no idea how to do this.Very helpful, thank you!

Reply

These data brokers are terrible

From Tyler on June 16, 2021 :: 5:09 pm

Like a lot of you, I found that it was a huge pain to opt out of all these sites. And all the paid options were too expensive.

So here’s some self-promotion. I don’t mean to be spammy. I’m hoping it can help some people out.

My friend Ben and I made a new service for doing opt-outs that works just like DeleteMe or OneRep, but it’s only $20/year. Check out https://EasyOptOuts.com if you’re interested.

And we’re just starting out, so any feedback would be great. Are we missing any important sites? Is the price alright? Are you wary of giving us your data?

Reply

How to remove information from https://www.northcarolinaresidentdatabase.com/

From Rachael on June 30, 2021 :: 1:32 am

Hi,

I requested to be removed from https://www.northcarolinaresidentdatabase.com/ but that was already a month ago and my information is still there, including addresses, date of birth, and voter ID number. I followed their opt-out directions exactly and it said that they would delete me within 24-48 hours it’s a month later now and I’m still listed. There is no contact information available on the wedsite. Is there anything I can do to rectify this situation? Thanks you!

Reply

Re EasyOptOuts

From Mostly Anonymous on August 08, 2021 :: 2:37 pm

@Tyler, your service looks interesting, but I’m concerned about your use of Google Cloud, Google Workspaces, Google Search, etc., as stated in your Privacy Policy.

Google is one of the entities I try to hide from!

Could you comment here, please?

Reply

Re Re EasyOptOuts

From Tyler on September 14, 2021 :: 6:53 pm

Cynical answer first:

All the data you need to give us in order to sign up is already all over the internet. We don’t need anything sensitive. Anyone who wants it already has it.

That’s why I feel okay about giving out my basic information to companies that pass my trustworthiness gut check.

Practical answer:

Google doesn’t do anything nefarious with the data their paid customers store in Google Cloud or Google Workspace. Since we’re paying them, they can afford not to make your data the product. You can read their privacy policies or contact them to confirm.

Note that that’s not true of free google products (e.g. gmail, which reads your emails to target ads).

We don’t use Google searches for anything during the opt-out process.

We picked Google because they’re very developer-friendly, but obviously it’d be better to support a privacy-friendly company, instead. We’re considering other hosting options, and we’ll take this feedback into account too, so thanks!

Reply

Very helpful article! I ended up going with Removaly.

From Helen W on September 23, 2021 :: 1:53 pm

This is a great article though trying to do it myself was a headache. I’ve used DeleteMe in the past but I switched to Removaly. They seemed simpler and easier to get in touch with when I found my information on sites outside of what the plan covered. Their customer service is the best bar none and I’ve been really pleased with them so far.

Reply

:)

From Kyle on September 24, 2021 :: 11:03 am

Much appreciated Helen! We’re glad to help and will always be here if you need us,

Kyle
Co-Founder | Removaly
https://removaly.com

Reply

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