Have you ever Googled your name? If so, you know just how public your information is, even when you think you’re doing all the right things to keep your personal details off the Internet. Unfortunately, people search sites thrive on the sale of your information, making them quite adept at gathering and disseminating aspects of your personal profile to data brokers.
But who would care about your personal information? And is it really all that bad to have it out there? These are good questions to ask yourself because it sends you down a rabbit hole of discovery to see just how damaging people directories can be to something you may covet most—your privacy.
What is a People Search Site?
Just as the name implies, a people search site offers users the ability to search for individuals using a number of different details. You can type in someone’s name and get a list of records that match. Alternatively, a search can be filtered down by plugging in additional details, like a last-known address or phone number.
There’s a touch of innocence to the idea if you consider possibly using it to get the scoop on a new potential roommate or if you’re trying to find an old friend. However, for every bit of good a public records site can do, there are many more additional ways it could be used to harm or hinder an individual.
Damaging Your Reputation
The information on such sites is mined from many sources, including state and federal records, to enhance the accuracy of the data. There are a number of ways your information can be used to hurt you, the most personal of them being an ex-husband or lifelong rival having access to your current location.
There’s a bigger picture at play, too. The information on people finder sites can be compiled into reports that are then sold to third parties. While the purchased data is often used to help companies improve their targeted marketing, some buyers may use it to simplify identity theft and access personal accounts.
The Key Players
Many sites are farming your data, but data protection services like Incogni target some of the most popular offenders so that they can virtually wipe your personal information from nefarious sources. Searching your name will likely yield the paywalled results from one of the following:
- Instant Checkmate
- The US Search
While they all do the same basic thing, each one is specialized in their own way. TruthFinder, for example, is considered the best on the market for its detailed reports and dark web scan. Spokeo is considered the best low-cost option, while Instant Checkmate is ideal for government records, including criminal history, court records, property records, and more.
Trying to remove your data from each site—keeping in mind that these are just a handful of people search sites out there—can be a tiresome process. If you’re going for complete online anonymity, you’ll want to enlist the help of a service that specializes in keeping your information safe from predatory searches.
Combatting People Search Sites
Working against these sites alone is an uphill battle. Their gears are always turning, collecting new information as it’s recorded. Your only hope in effectively and definitively removing your personal data from people search sites is through services like Incogni.
Incogni’s simple membership is a monthly or annual fee that comes with uninterrupted support and protection against hackers, cyberattacks, identity theft, and shadow profiles that actively collect your user information without consent. For $12.99 per month or $77.88 per year (50% off compared to a monthly subscription), Incogni clients get access to user-friendly tools and the power of privacy law compliance to have data removed from these sites on a regular basis.
How Does It Work?
The process to have your data removed from people search sites begins the moment you sign up with Incogni. On the first day, a notice of request for data removal is sent out to applicable brokers. In many cases, it only takes a week for brokers to start responding and, within the month, you’ll start to see your information disappear from these sites. Brokers that don’t respond to this initial request will receive follow-up requests until they comply.
So long as you’re an Incogni member, they will keep this process going, regularly sending out notices to prior and new brokers to keep your information out of online databases. You’ll even receive a weekly progress report so you have peace of mind knowing that your information is safe and secure.
Protect your identity for life and keep your information from falling into the wrong hands with Incogni’s subscription-based data removals services today.
Incogni: Personal Information Removal Service
Incogni is a subscription-based service that maintains the online privacy and safety of its customers by working with the world’s top data brokers to have their information removed from the web.