Published Published March 4, 2024
Read time
 read

How to delete your information from people-search sites

Delete yourself
Ready to stop your information exposure?

Remove your Name, DOB, Address, Phone Number, Property & Legal Records from 195+ Sites.

If you’re concerned about your online privacy – and you should be – then it’s crucial to remove your information from people-search sites. Also known as people-finder sites, they make it easy for anyone to find sensitive information about you, from contact info and income to legal records, location data, and private photos – details you might not want friends, family, potential employers, and the public at large to know.

Moreover, criminals can use the information found on people-search sites to hack, scam, or blackmail you – or even steal your identity, money, and medical benefits.

Read on to learn how to delete your information from people-search sites to prevent cybercrime and protect your online privacy.

Check what people-search sites expose your information

Onerep scans 195+ websites for your profiles. Start a 1-minute scan to get your free personalized exposure report.

Please enter your first and last name

People-search sites: what are they and why do they exist?

People search sites collect data about you and organize it into a comprehensive profile that anyone willing to look you up can access. Typically, they disclose some of your personal information like full name, aliases, home address, contact data, and family ties for free, then charge a fee for an in-depth report. They get your information from various sources, including:

  • Public records
  • Private companies such as retailers, rewards programs, and credit card companies
  • Social profiles
  • Online forms and sweepstakes entries
  • Website scrapers
  • Other data brokers, and other sites and services that aggregate personal data

They then compile your data into a profile that can expose your personally identifiable information, including:

  • Your name, address, email, and phone number
  • Demographics such as your age, gender, and income
  • Location data
  • Political and religious affiliations
  • Motor vehicle records
  • Court and criminal records
  • Photos and videos of you

Most people-search sites make money through ad revenue and by selling your data to anyone willing to pay for it. Some even allow users to monitor your online activity by sending alerts whenever there’s a new mention or photo of you. 

Admittedly, people-finder sites have some benefits as they can help locate old classmates, vet romantic interests before a date, find contact information of long-lost friends and family members, and conduct reverse phone lookups to check unknown numbers.

However, people-search sites can’t control who is accessing your data and for what. As a result, they’re often used for nefarious purposes by identity thieves and other bad actors who purchase your data to:

  • Impersonate you and steal your identity
  • Gain access to your online and financial accounts
  • Blackmail you
  • Attempt phishing, smishing, and vishing scams
  • Steal your money
  • Make purchases in your name
  • Get medical care and other benefits in your name
  • Dox you
  • Sell your personal information on the dark web to other criminals

Information found on people-search sites can also help domestic abusers and hate groups find, stalk, and harass you. Additionally, law enforcement agencies can use these websites to obtain personal information about you without a warrant.

What’s more, people-search sites are not legally allowed to be used for employment, credit, or tenant screening as they are not consumer reporting agencies as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. But since they can’t verify why someone’s looking you up, prospective employers, college admissions departments, and anyone else who just wants to poke around your private life are frequently using them instead of legitimate bureaus.

Consider these real-world stories:

  • A stalker used a people search site to purchase a 20-year-old woman’s date of birth, Social Security number, home address, and employment information. He then showed up at her workplace and murdered her (Lawfare)
  • A Duke University study discovered hundreds of data brokers that sell data about active U.S. military members, posing a national security threat (Duke University)
  • A data broker identified consumers most likely to respond to solicitations, then sold records of more than 30 million Americans to elder fraud scammers (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
  • The FTC levied $5.8 million in settlements against people search websites that deceived users about background report accuracy, failed to remove inaccurate information, and claimed people had criminal and arrest records when they only had traffic tickets (FTC)

These scenarios underscore how critical it is to protect your privacy and remove your data from people finder sites before it negatively affects both your personal and professional life.

Step-by-step instructions for removing your data from people-search sites

There are hundreds of people-search sites on the web, each publishing more and more personal information about you to top the search engines, gain more traffic, and earn more revenue.

Fortunately, the law requires people-search sites to have an opt-out procedure. Each site has its own opt-out process, which typically entails:

  • Visiting every website one by one and searching for your listing page
  • Finding the URLs to all your profiles
  • Finding the site’s opt-out page
  • Submitting an opt-out request
  • Verifying your identity which varies from following an email confirmation link to receiving codes
  • Checking back after a while and verifying that your profiles were actually removed

However, some people-search sites require you to jump through exotic hoops before they honor your request. Examples include requiring you to:

  • Create an account
  • Submit official identifying documents to prove your identity
  • Submit your phone number and answer verification phone calls
  • Pay for removal

Once you submit opt-out requests, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several weeks for people search sites to remove your information, so you must continually check back to ensure they’ve honored your request. Moreover, they’re likely to simply republish your data later.

With hundreds of people-search sites out there, removing your personal information from all of them is a tedious and never-ending task. Onerep can take the burden off your shoulders and automate the removal process.

Our service scans 199 people-search sites for your records, then automatically completes all the opt-out procedures – including handling verification emails and phone calls. Though people search sites often require your email address and phone number to send verification links and codes, Onerep doesn’t give away any of your personal information. Instead, our service uses dummy emails and phone numbers.

After submitting a request, Onerep continues to visit each site to verify opt-out and notify you with confirmation. Then, we monitor the sites so if your information is republished, we automatically start the opt-out process again.

If you prefer to submit opt-outs yourself, you can use our 5-day trial to run a free scan and see what sites expose your info. Then, take advantage of the removal guides for hundreds of people-search sites in Onerep’s free wiki.

Save your time and get fast results with automated removals

Helping people protect their privacy since 2015. Over 14M unauthorized profiles removed. Use the industry’s top tool.

Below, we’ve outlined step-by-step opt-out instructions for twelve of the most popular people search sites.

Opt out of Whitepages

Whitepages

More than 30 million people use Whitepages.com every month to find people, contact them, and conduct background checks. The site states it has contact details and cell phone numbers for more than 250 million people across the U.S. Here’s the opt-out process for Whitepages.

  1. Go to Whitepages.com and look up your profile
  2. Locate your profile among the results and click “View Full Report.” Copy the page URL
  3. Go to the Suppression Request page
  4. Paste the copied URL and verify that the correct profile is displayed
  5. Click/tap “Remove me”
  6. Select the reason behind your opt out request and click/tap “Next”
  7. Type your phone number and click/tap “Call now to verify”
  8. When you receive an automated call from Whitepages, enter the verification code

Opt out of TruePeopleSearch

TruePeopleSearch

TruePeopleSearch.com claims to search billions of public records to reveal phone numbers, email addresses, address histories, friends and relatives, property info, and more personal information about you.

  1. Open the TruePeopleSearch removal page
  2. Type your email address, verify your information, then click/tap “Begin Removal”
  3. Look up your profile and click/tap “Details”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click/tap “Remove This Record”
  5. Check your email for a verification message and click/tap the link

Opt out of FastPeopleSearch

FastPeopleSearch

FastPeopleSearch.com gets 100 million searches each month and states it brings “big-data access” to the public with 16.5 billion records of 800 million people.

  1. Go to the FastPeopleSearch removal request page
  2. Type your email address, check the verification boxes, and click/tap “Begin the Removal Process”
  3. Look yourself up and click/tap on your name in the search results
  4. Click/tap “Remove My Record” at the top of your profile
  5. Check your email and click/tap the verification link

Opt out of US PhoneBook

Opt out of US PhoneBook

USPhoneBook.com focuses on reverse phone number searches, but it also allows website users to find people by name and address. The service promises to reveal information such as your full name, current or past addresses, and past and previous phone numbers in addition to aliases and relatives.

  1. Access US PhoneBook’s opt-out page
  2. Type your email address, check the verification boxes, and then click/tap “Begin Removal Request”
  3. Look up your record by phone, name, or address
  4. Find your record among the search results and click/tap “Get Details for [your number]”
  5. Click/tap “Remove Record”
  6. Check your email and click/tap the verification link

Opt out of Spokeo

Opt out of Spokeo

Spokeo.com lets anyone search by name, email address, phone number, or mailing address to expose personal information from its database of 6 billion consumer records, 600 million court records, and 130 million property records.

  1. Look yourself up on Spokeo.com and open your profile
  2. Copy the page URL
  3. Go to Spokeo’s opt-out page
  4. Paste the copied URL, enter your email address, then click/tap “Opt Out”
  5. Check your email and click/tap the verification link

Opt out of BeenVerified

BeenVerified

BeenVerified.com features people search, reverse phone lookup, email lookup, and address lookup – but also offers username, unclaimed money, and vehicle searches. The site reveals information such as your criminal and court records, property records, vehicle records, and personal details such as your photos, assets, jobs, education, and relatives.

  1. Access BeenVerified’s opt-out page
  2. Look your record up by name and state
  3. Locate your profile and click/tap “Proceed to Opt-Out”
  4. Type your email address and click/tap “Send Verification Email”
  5. Check your email and click/tap the verification link

Opt out of Radaris

Radaris

Radaris.com claims to be “the most complete public records database online” and scours hundreds of millions of records to expose names, contact information, resumes, work experience, marital status and divorce records, relatives, social media accounts, criminal records and mugshots, and photos and videos. The company also offers a monitoring service that allows users to track your online activity whenever a new mention or photo is posted.

  1. Look your record up on Radaris
  2. Find your profile and Copy its URL
  3. Access the opt-out page
  4. Paste your profile URL, type your name and email address, and click/tap “Send Request”
  5. Check your email and click/tap the link

Opt out of SearchPeopleFREE

SearchPeopleFREE

SearchPeopleFree.com is another people search site that makes it easy to find personal information about you, including your name, phone number, address, relatives, associates, and any businesses you’re associated with. The platform offers both English- and Spanish-based people search.

  1. Open SearchPeopleFree’s opt-out page
  2. Type your email address, check the verification boxes, then click/tap “Begin removal process”
  3. Check your email and click/tap the verification link
  4. Click the “Start a Search” button
  5. Look your record up and click/tap “Continue Removal”
  6. Click/tap “Remove this Record”

Opt out of Intelius

Intelius

Intelius.com is a people finder site that makes it easy to search by name, phone, or address. The service reveals personal information such as your name and aliases, date of birth, contact information, relatives, criminal and traffic records, property information, and a host of public records.

  1. Access the Intelius privacy center
  2. Click/tap “Public Data Tools”
  3. Click/tap “Manage My Suppression Rules”
  4. Type your email address, check the verification box, and then click/tap “Continue”
  5. Check your email and click/tap the verification link
  6. Enter your DOB, name, and other required information, then click/tap “Continue”
  7. Choose your record and click/tap “Continue”
  8. On the “Verified” page, click/tap “Continue”
  9. Select “Suppressed” In the dropdown menu, then click/tap “Save”

Opt out of Truthfinder

Truthfinder

One of the most popular people search websites, Truthfinder.com’s reports include personal information such as employment and education history, relatives, relationships and associates, contact information, location history, criminal and traffic records, social profiles, business profiles, financial information, assets, and even professional licenses and hunting and weapons permits.

  1. Open the Truthfinder privacy center
  2. Click/tap “Public Data Tools”
  3. Click/tap “Manage My Suppression Rules”
  4. Type your email address, check the verification box, and then click/tap “Continue”
  5. Check your email and click/tap the verification link
  6. Submit your birthday, name, and other required details, then click/tap “Continue”
  7. Choose your record and click/tap “Continue”
  8. Verify your record and click/tap “Continue”
  9. In the dropdown menu, select “Suppressed”, then click/tap “Save”

Opt out of Peekyou

Opt out of Peekyou

Peekyou.com states it can be used to find family, friends, and old classmates, but in doing so it exposes personal data such as addresses, driving records, arrest records, and online photos.

  1. Visit Peekyou.com
  2. Enter your name and state to search for your profile
  3. Find your profile and click on it, then copy the unique identification number at the end of the URL (the numbers after the last slash)
  4. Visit Peekyou’s opt-out page here
  5. Enter your information, unique ID (optional), check the verification boxes, and click/tap “Submit”
  6. Check your email and click/tap the link

Opt out of ClustrMaps

ClustrMaps

Clustrmaps.com is a people search site that uses public records such as business registrations, real estate deeds, and permit records to find and reveal personal information about you.

  1. Visit ClustrMaps.com
  2. Select “People” and search for your name
  3. Find your profile and click/tap for more details (you can filter by state and city)
  4. Copy your profile URL
  5. Visit ClustrMaps’ opt out page here
  6. Enter your name, email, and address, then paste your profile URL and click/tap “Next Step”
  7. Select the details you’d like to have removed and click/tap “Apply”
Onerep security tip

How can you prevent reappearance in future searches?

The best way to prevent reappearance in future searches is to limit your digital footprint as much as possible, making it difficult for people-search sites to find your information in the first place. Here are ten tips to help keep your information off people-search sites.

1. Limit what you share

Never share personal information online, especially via social media, forums, forms, and unsecured chat platforms. If you must fill out an online form, only input required data. The less private information you share – including photos and videos – the harder it will be for data broker and people search sites to find your digital footprint, scrape your data, and publish it online.

2. Avoid rewards programs and sweepstakes

Rewards programs and sweepstakes are often designed to collect your personal information, which is then sold to people-search sites. If you do want to sign up for a rewards program, consider using a pseudonym, dummy email, and dummy phone number so your account can’t be matched to your true identity.

3. Delete unused apps and accounts

Many apps and services collect personal information about you and share it with third-party data broker companies, a practice that’s often buried in cumbersome terms of service pages. This is especially true for free mobile games and services. Close any old online accounts and delete unused apps to stop them from collecting information about you. You should also read over the terms of service before installing new apps or opening any new accounts, and avoid those that collect and share your personal data.

4. Update social media sites, browser, and device privacy preferences

Go through the privacy settings on your browser and mobile devices, apps, and social media accounts to restrict those services from sharing your information. Examples include:

  • Disable social profile search engine indexing
  • Block cookies
  • Disable location sharing
  • Decline interest-based advertising (or personalized advertising)
  • Limit who can see your social media posts to only those in your closest circle (do not allow posts to be public by default)
  • Block app access to documents, photos, cameras, and mics

5. Use a privacy browser and/or ad blocker

Install a privacy browser like Brave, Duck Duck Go, or Opera. These browsers offer privacy features such as built-in ad blockers, VPNs, and private search to help stop your information from being exposed online. If you don’t use a privacy browser, at least consider installing an ad blocker and browsing in incognito mode.

6. Use a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) hide your IP address and disguise your location, making it difficult or impossible to track your online activity. Be sure to install a VPN on all your devices, including desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Some services, such as Proton VPN, offer free tiers so you can protect yourself across all your devices without spending a dime, but you can also invest in paid services.

7. Use dummy data

Create a nonidentifying screen name for all your accounts, including social media, and use dummy email addresses and phone numbers whenever possible to make it difficult for people search sites and other data brokers to associate your identity with your online activity.

8. Employ strong passwords and two-factor authentication

If your information is on people-search websites (and it most likely is), scammers can use it to try to crack your passwords and hack your accounts, exposing even more information about you and leaving you susceptible to identity theft, fraud, and other scams.

Protect yourself by using strong passwords (search online for free secure password generators) and enabling two-factor authentication on all your accounts, granting you an extra layer of security. With 2FA, even if a hacker does get your password, they won’t be able to access your accounts, and you’ll get a notification so you can change your password and take other measures to protect yourself.

9. Remove information from public records

You can’t remove your information from all public records, but you can contact your Clerk of Courts and your state’s Attorney General office to request that any eligible information is removed or redacted. In general, you won’t be able to hide legal documents such as marriage licenses and court records, but you might be able to redact your phone number, Social Security number, address, and financial information from public records.

10. Constantly monitor

Constantly monitor people-search sites to ensure they don’t republish your information. If they do, complete another opt-out request. You can also use Google’s “Results About You” tool to monitor for new mentions of you online, then use the tool to request removal from search results.

People search websites are major privacy violations that not only expose your personal information online, they also give criminals a gateway to scam you, blackmail you, commit identity theft, steal from you, find you, track you, stalk you, and even commit acts of violence. Follow the tips outlined here to remove yourself from people search sites and protect your privacy.

FAQ

How often should I check for my data on people-search sites?

People-search sites can publish (and republish) your information at any time, so it’s a good idea to routinely check for your data to ensure your profile isn’t publicly listed. At minimum, check people-search sites once every three months.

Is there a single opt-out that stops all data brokers?

No, there is no single opt-out that stops every data broker or removes all your information from people-search sites. However, Onerep covers 199 people-search sites and removes your profiles automatically. Using a privacy service like Onerep will take care of around 90% of your online exposure while saving hundreds of hours of tedious work.

What if I opt out, but my information still appears on some sites?

People-search sites can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks to remove your information after you’ve submitted an opt-out request. If your information still appears on some sites after two to three weeks, contact the site directly (you might need to reference their FAQ page or open a support ticket) and ask when you can expect your request to be honored. If they still don’t remove your information, report them to the FTC and your state Attorney General.

IMG 4593 Dimitri Shelest Founder and CEO at Onerep

Dimitri is a tech entrepreneur and CEO at Onerep. He is keen on sharing his expertise in cybersecurity and privacy matters and is regularly published on various platforms.

Was this article helpful?

You may also like

cover Onerep vs. Incogni 1 1
Reviews Incogni vs Onerep comparison [2024 review & explanation]
  • Data removal
  • Privacy protection services
Cover Your Digital Footprint
Online safety education What is a digital footprint? Safeguard your online data from cyber threats
  • Privacy protection
  • Digital footprint
PII 1
Online safety education What is personally identifiable information (PII): protection tips and insights
  • Privacy protection
  • Online threat
Remove phone number from the dark web
Online safety education How to remove your phone number from the dark web: a step-by-step guide
  • Data removal
  • Cybersecurity
  • phone number
Data brokers expose your private data

Automate the removal of your personal information from 195+ data brokers and Google