With the ever growing use of the Internet and people’s information being stored online, is it possible to remove yourself from the Internet? Can you erase yourself completely from the digital universe? Unfortunately, the short answer is no. If you drive, vote, get married, or own a home, your information is already online. Courts and government agencies have been posting your public records online since the mid-1990s. Your digital footprints grows bigger and bigger as you interact with the rest of the world.
Although you cannot delete yourself from the Internet, you can reduce your public records from the Internet. There is a DIY process but it will be an uphill battle. Nonetheless, you can do something about it so your digital footprint doesn’t keep getting bigger and bigger as you have more online accounts or increase your Internet presence.
Request Removal from Data Brokerage Services
There are data brokerage services that offer your information to other people for a price. They sell sensitive information to people as a service. You may have a legitimate reason to request private information of other people such as for doing a background check if you are a landlord. If it’s your information, then you probably don’t want it available for other people to track and find out about you. To remove such information, request removal of your information from these data brokerage services.
Opt Out from PeopleFinders
PeopleFinders offers a service to find people for a fee. To remove yourself from this service, opt out by going to PeopleFinders and scrolling to the very bottom of the page. When you are at the bottom, click on Do Not Sell My Info. Follow the instructions provided. You will need to provide the URL containing the link of your information in PeopleFinders. Enter your email address to verify yourself. Once you fill out the form, you will get an email to remove your profile. Click on the link to confirm the removal of your profile from PeopleFinders.
In a week, go back to PeopleFinders and confirm that your information has been removed.
Opt Out from Spokeo
Another service that you want to opt out is Spokeo. When you go on the site, provide your full name and click Search. When you get the search results, find your profile and click See Results. When the result of your profile appears, copy the URL and scroll to the very bottom of the page. Click on Privacy link. Scroll to the very bottom and click on Opt Out. Enter the URL that you copied earlier into the field and provide your email address. Once you submit the form, you will get an email from Spokeo. It will ask you to click on the link to complete the removal process.
In a week, go back to Spokeo and confirm that your information has been removed.
Opt Out from Intelius
In a week, go back to Intelius and confirm that your information has been removed.
Opt Out from TruthFinder
Go to TruthFinder and scroll all the way down. Click on Do Not Sell My Info. When prompted, enter your first name, last name, state, and email address. When the search results appear, click on Remove This Record next to your profile. You should get an email to confirm the request to opt out. Click the link in the email to confirm the request.
In a week, go back to TruthFinder and confirm that your information has been removed.
Opt Out from Instant Checkmate
Go to Instant Checkmate and scroll all the way down. Click on Do Not Sell My Info. Enter your first name, last name, state, and email address. Hmm, this seems similar to the previous site where the link is at the very bottom. Is it from the same company? Oh well, doesn’t matter. You should still remove your information from this site.
When the search results appear, click on Remove This Record next to your profile. You should get an email to confirm the request to opt-out. Click the link in the email to confirm the request to remove your profile.
In a week, go back to Instant Checkmate and confirm that your information has been removed.