Image: Chris Kindred
Getting off of data broker sites is time-consuming, so load up on snacks, queue up your favorite playlist, and roll up your sleeves. If you have limited time, start with the high-priority sites on this list.
It’s often quicker to group sites by the information required, starting with the ones requiring the most work (such as sending physical letters or faxes, or making phone calls), hitting all the sites requiring drivers licenses (feel free to cross out your ID Number!), and finishing off with the easy ones that can be done online.
Some paid services remove data from some sites. For example, Abine’s DeleteMe service removes data from an individual for $129/year. However, not every data broker is in their opt-out list. Whether you sign up for DeleteMe or another service, make sure to opt out of the sites not included in their opt-out list. Many (such as MyLife and WhitePages) do not allow people to opt out on behalf of others.
This list is divided into people search sites on top, which will help you keep your home address and phone number off the web. At the bottom is some advice to deal with marketing sites. For more information on the data broker industry in its many forms, see our article What Are Data Brokers, and Why Are They Scooping Up Information About You?
People Search Sites:
Acxiom: It is hard to know which information Acxion has without paying a fee, but you can opt out here: https://isapps.acxiom.com/optout/optout.aspx
Classmates.com: Opt out or control information that’s posted here: https://help.classmates.com/hc/en-us, owned by Intelius.
DOBSearch: Find your information here: https://www.dobsearch.com/people-finder/ Then hit “manage my records” and opt out. You will need to supply your number and email address and provide text or email confirmation. Info here: https://www.dobsearch.com/people-finder/pf_manage_help.php Another option to try: https://www.dobsearch.com/contact.php?nature=remove
FamilyTreeNow: Search for yourself and remove your information here: https://www.familytreenow.com/optout
InfoTracer: Find your information here: https://www.infotracer.com, opt out here: https://www.infopay.com/merchant/files/78/files/Generic_data_opt_out_form.pdf (Requires drivers license and fax machine or snail mail)
InstantCheckmate: Find and remove your information here: https://www.instantcheckmate.com/opt-out/ (High priority)
InstantPeopleFinder: Find your information here: https://instantpeoplefinder.com, remove listings from the sites it’s aggregating the data from, and try to opt out here, though you can’t provide requested URLs without paying. https://www.instantpeoplefinder.com/optout.php. You can also email [email protected]
Intelius: Find your information here: https://www.intelius.com.
Opt out by sending your driver’s license and other information in using the form here: https://www.intelius.com/optout. You can also mail or fax your ID in, if preferred, to (425) 974-6194. (Intelius owns Classmates, DateCheck, iSearch, LookUpAnyone, Peopleconnect.us, PeopleLookup, Phonesbook, Publicrecords, Spock, USSearch, Zabasearch). (High priority, requires drivers license)
MyLife: Find your information here: https://www.mylife.com. (You don’t need to sign up and pay for anything). Opt out by calling (888) 704-1900, press 2, ask to be removed from MyLife (and Wink.com, just in case). You’ll need to provide your name, age, date of birth, email address, current mailing address, and a previous mailing address. (Do not sign up on the site; it will charge you to access your info.) Another option to try is to email a link to your profile to [email protected] (High priority, must call)
PeekYou: Find your information here: https://www.peekyou.com/.
opt out here: https://www.peekyou.com/about/contact/optout. You will need the letters at the end of your profile’s URL in the “unique ID” field. Make sure to check “remove my entire listing.” You can also remove your information from the sites that it says it has aggregated information from. (High priority)
PeopleFinders: Find your information and opt out here: https://www.peoplefinders.com/manage (includes PublicRecordsNow). (High priority)
PeopleLooker: Find your information here: https://www.peoplelooker.com/f/optout/search, select your record, and then follow the instructions to opt out. You will need to verify your request to opt out by clicking on the link in a verification email.
PeopleLookUp: Find your information here: https://peoplelookup.com/, follow opt-out instructions here: https://peoplelookup.com/privacy-policy#updating-or-removing-your-information (Requires driver’s license and fax machine or snail mail)
PeopleSearchNow: Find your information and opt out here: https://www.peoplesearchnow.com/opt-out
PeopleSmart: Find and remove your information here: https://www.peoplesmart.com/optout-go (High priority)
Phone Detective: Do a search on your number here: https://www.phonedetective.com/PD.aspx and opt out here: https://www.phonedetective.com/PD.aspx?_act=OptOut
PrivateEye: Find your information here: http://secure.privateeye.com/default.aspx, though it’s hard to tell if the results are complete. To opt out via mail, fill out and mail in the following form: http://secure.privateeye.com/optout-form.pdf. (Must use snail mail)
PublicRecords: owned by Intelius. Find your information here: https://www.publicrecords.com/. To opt out, you need to mail or fax your driver’s license or state-issued ID card along with your full name, address, and date of birth to the address and fax number listed under “How to Remove your Information from PublicRecords.com Public Records Databases” on https://www.publicrecords.com/privacy. (High priority, must use snail mail or fax)
PublicRecordsNow: Find your information here: https://www.publicrecordsnow.com/ Send them a letter along with the records you found, the information you want removed (your full name, middle initial, any aliases, current and former addresses, date of birth, a letter requesting removal, and a copy of your ID. Ask them to remove you also from USA-People-Search, PrivateEye, Veromi, and PeopleFinders. Send the letter to Opt-Out/Public Records Now, PO Box 110850, Naples, FL 34108. (Requires driver’s licence, must use snail mail)
PublicRecords360: Find your information and opt out here: https://www.publicrecords360.com/optout.html (High priority)
Radaris: Find your information here: http://radaris.com. Click on “control information” and then “manage information” and remove it by clicking on the X next to it or by removing specific listings. You may need to register to remove information. Details are here: http://radaris.com/page/how-to-remove
ReversePhone Lookup: https://www.reversephonelookup.com/remove.php
SearchBug Free Listings: Find your information here: https://www.searchbug.com/. Remove free records by clicking on your name at the address you want to remove, and clicking on the trash can icon or Remove link.
SearchBug Premium Listings: Find your information here: https://www.searchbug.com/. Preview premium records, circle the listings you want removed, and mail the request along with a letter with your name, address, and signature requesting that the listing be blocked, and a $20 check (whaaat??). Instructions are here: https://www.searchbug.com/help.aspx?WHAT=people (Site charges money for removal, must use snail mail)
Spoke: Find your information here: http://www.spoke.com/. To opt out, click This is me -> To suppress your profile, click here -> click on removal link in email.
Spokeo: Find and remove your information here: https://www.spokeo.com/optout (High priority)
TruthFinder: Find and remove your information at https://www.truthfinder.com/opt-out/.
USA People Search: Find and remove your information at https://www.usa-people-search.com/manage/default.aspx
USIdentify: Find and remove your information here: http://www.usidentify.com/company/privacy.html, click on IV. Choice and opt out (Must use snail mail)
US Search: Find your information here: https://www.ussearch.com/privacylock, then follow the instructions for opting out. (High priority, requires driver’s license, must use snail mail)
You will need to enter an opt-out code when you receive a phone call. Opt-out information is available here: https://support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010106908-How-do-I-edit-or-remove-a-personal-listing-. You can also send a request here https://support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/requests/new and here: https://support.premium.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=549628. (Including multiple options because these sites have a tendency to disappear.) Sometimes, information is removed from White Pages but not White Pages Premium, so make sure to double-check for your listing.
ZabaSearch: Find your information here: http://zabasearch.com. Get information on opting out at http://www.zabasearch.com/block_records/ You will need to fax proof of your identity and your address. If you’re using a driver’s license, cross out the photo and driver’s license number. Fax it to 425-974-6194. It can take 4-6 weeks to process. (High priority, requires driver’s license, must fax)
ZoomInfo: Check to see if your information is on ZoomInfo by filling out this form: http://www.zoominfo.com/lookupEmail. Opt out if it has an email on record—they will email you. (High priority)
Special Circumstances If you’re a victim of violent crime or identity theft, it’s often possible to opt out of information that others can’t opt out of. You may, however, need to provide court orders or other information. It may be worth checking more complete data broker lists which include those: https://www.privacyrights.org/data-brokers
Preventing Identity Theft & Opting Out of Marketing Sites:
Consider freezing your credit, which prevents creditors from accessing your credit report. (It also prevents credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name, but you will receive a pin to unfreeze your credit, if needed.) You will need to provide personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number to freeze your credit. While you can sometimes initiate this online, it’s better to do it by phone. Fees for freezing your credit vary by state. To freeze your credit, contact:
- Equifax: 1 (800) 349-9960, https://www.freeze.equifax.com/
- Experian: 1 (888) 397‑3742, https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/preventing-fraud/security-freeze/
- TransUnion: 1 (888) 909-8872, https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze
- Innovis: 1 (800) 540-2505, https://www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze
Explore any privacy options offered by your state’s motor vehicle department.
Contact your home and mobile phone companies to see if they offer privacy options, such as not listing your number on caller ID or allowing you to opt out of sales of phone numbers.
Consider opting out of direct marketing and telemarketing. This list, compiled by Griffin Boyce, has a lot of information on doing so: https://github.com/glamrock/data-brokers/blob/master/data-brokers.md. A good place to start is to opt out at the Direct Marketing Association .https://dmachoice.thedma.org/register.php
Opt out of prescreened credit offers: Follow the instructions at https://www.optoutprescreen.com/
Get on the Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx
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