How to delete your personal information from background check websites


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Did you know there are hundreds of databases that scrape your publicly available private information and display it online? These websites are called people search databases, and they'll sell your whole file for a couple of bucks. Some of these peoplefinder sites include intelius, spoko, whitepages, zabasearch, and peoplesmart, and they all make a living of selling your private data.

We'll show you detailed instructions on how to remove your personal information from 20+ of the most popular background check sites, and offer some tips on how to reduce the amount of your private information that leaks out.

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  • This is very helpful - protecting your privacy online is important. Another good resource is - they offer a free plan to help you remove your personal information from websites.
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How to delete your personal information from background check websites

  1. 1. How to:Delete your personal informationfrom background check websitesStep-by-step instructions to remove your info from 17 top people search databases
  2. 2. Advertisers & your personal dataYoure probably aware that social media sites scrape yourpersonal information in order to target specificadvertisements to you.
  3. 3. But did you know theres another category ofwebsites known as people search databases that will sell your data to anyone interested for a nominal fee as a background check? Image credit: @violetblue on
  4. 4. There are 2 types of thesepeoplefinder sites:1. Primary sites that collect your information firsthandfrom your local public records office.2. Aggregator sites that piggyback off the primarypeoplesearch sites. They also scrape data fromsocial networks and public forums.Most of this information has been publicly availablefor decades, but the internet has made your privateinformation easy for anyone to access anywhere,anytime, with just one click of a button.
  5. 5. A typical listing on the people search site, complete with a satellite photo of your house.
  6. 6. How do these sites get your data?
  7. 7. So what can you do?1. Take stock of which sites youre on. ● Search for your name on a few of the top sites: Intelius, Spokeo, Whitepages, Pipl, and DOBSearch. ● Google your name- including alternate spelling, middle names, and with/without quotes.2. Complete the opt-out instructions for any sitesyou appear on.3. Take steps to protect your public information4. Get professional privacy help (if necessary)
  8. 8. How to opt-outThe good news: most peoplesearch sites willremove your information if you ask them to.The bad news: these sites make the proceduredifficult to discourage you from doing it.● Some sites have simple opt-out forms● Some will require a fax or mailed form● Others will even require a scanned copy of your drivers license (always cross out your photo and license #)
  9. 9. Send the following info when optingout:1. Specific URLs or copies of the records youd like removed.2. A list of the following personal information:● First, last name, & middle initial● Any aliases, AKAs, or nicknames● Current address & any addresses going back 10+ years● Full date of birth● Email address (not all sites need this)3. A professional note to the effect of: "As per your privacy policy please remove my listing and all records from your site and any affiliated databases. Thank you."4. Include any necessary proof of ID
  10. 10. These sites are all owned by Intelius and they allrequire a scanned/faxed ID. You can do them all atonce by requesting it on the form.Online opt outOr: fax written request to 425-974-6194
  11. 11. These are all owned by and ce beopted out by referncing them all in a single letter.They do require ID.Mail your letter containing all pertinent info to:Opt-Out - PrivateEye.com1821 Q StreetSacramento, CA95811
  12. 12. These sites are easy- they all provideonline forms for opting out. Opt out here Opt out here - More info here Opt out here Locate your listing then opt out here Opt out here - More info here Privacy policy - opt out by finding your listing and clicking on the page.
  13. 13. Email opt-outsSearch your email address on this page. If youre intheir records youll get an email with how to proceed.Email titled "opt outrequest." Then include all pertinent info about yourself.Send an email to with your removalrequest. You can also call 888-704-1900
  14. 14. LexisNexis is unique in that they only allow certainindividuals to remove their private information.People who may request removal of their info: ● Law enforcement or public officials ● if you have threats of physical harm against you ● cases of identity theftIf you meet these criteria you can read more & optout here.
  15. 15. Pipl and Yasni are two secondary aggregator sitesthat refuse to unlist any information under thepretense that "its all public information anyways."The good news is Pipl and Yasni only pull datafrom other sites, so if you successfully remove thesource of the information they wont be able to findanything on you.
  16. 16. Protecting your private informationSo youve contacted theoffending sites and had yourrecords removed. Great! Nowwhat?Even after removing yourinformation, these sites areconstantly scouring publicrecords offices for new recordsto publish.Just because they took downyour info once doesnt meanthey wont try to post it again.
  17. 17. Ask yourself: do I really need this?Since the peoplefinder sites pullfrom public records, limit theamount of information you makepublic.Do you really need anothergrocery store club card?Dont sign up for bigsweepstakes or take part inpublic contests.
  18. 18. Get a P.O. boxTo protect your home address, get a post officebox and use that as your address for major publicrecords forms.
  19. 19. Get professional helpOnline security leaders and Abineboth have excellent paid services to protect yourprivate information from these - MyPrivacyAbine - DeleteMeAbine also has a great free resource to manuallyremoving your information from these peoplesearch sites.
  20. 20. Keep your information safe onlinePrevent your personal information from being accessedby people and companies you dont know withSgrouples (sounds like scruples).Sgrouples is the first true privacy networkthat gives you total control over who gets tosee your content and who you share with.Thats why we drafted the Online Privacy Billof Rights.In addition Sgrouples will never track, scrape, or shareyour private information with anyone. So check us outand Join the Online Privacy Revolution!
  21. 21. Recources & Credits:Abine - comprehensive opt-out listAbine - DeleteMeReddit - Remove yourself from all background check - MyprivacySgrouples - Online Privacy Bill of RightsZDnet - how to remove yourself from people search websitesZDnet - how people search sites get your information Sgrouples - Join the Online Privacy Revolution!