Suppose you’ve been online for any period of time. In that case, there may be lots of information available: accounts you opened and forgot about, your friends’ social media, blogs and forums you’ve visited, message boards, etc. Generally, there is more info about people online than many imagine, including personal details.
People Search Sites Have Access To All Public Data
Everyone knows that websites are tracking us with cookies with the purpose of targeted advertising, among other things. In addition, market research services, background check sites, people finders, white pages, and other companies can get all sorts of information about you. Then, it will be available to anyone who searches one of these sites’ databases.
Public information includes divorce decrees, property records, voting registries, address history, hobbies, jobs, and even the value of your home.
On data collection sites, you can search for people online using any personal data you have on them and find their approximate date of birth, social media information, and criminal records. Some people finders will display information for free. You can get a lot more for a one-time or recurring fee, including details about legal and criminal records.
Times Have Changed
It was not easy to get such information in the days before the internet. You would have to visit the courthouse for records like divorce decrees and marriage certificates. If you wanted to find out whether an acquaintance was married or your neighbor’s divorce was messy, it wasn’t worth the time. Today, a simple Google search might give you that and a lot more information.
Benefits Of People Finders
People finders have long been associated with privacy issues, but what they’re doing is not illegal. Public information is widely accessible. They’re only making access to it easier. What’s more, people search sites have their pluses.
They can help you find contact information for people you need to get in touch with, such as old classmates, business contacts, or potential customers.
They can help you find friends or family members that you have lost touch with.
They can help you verify the identity of someone you have met online or in person.
They can be used to conduct background checks on potential employees, tenants, or business partners.
You can use a people finder to research family history and genealogy, helping you build your family tree and connect with distant relatives.
Finally, they can help you screen potential roommates, partners, or dates to ensure they don’t have a history of questionable behavior.
People finders can be a useful tool for individuals looking to locate people, conduct background checks, or research family history. However, it’s important to use these tools responsibly and ethically to protect the privacy and security of others.
Where do they get information?
People search sites collect information from thousands of data sources, like property, birth, and death records. They also work with third parties to get information that’s available online.
You can opt out of these sites if you’re worried someone could misuse your information.
How To Get Your Data Off People Finders
It might not be easy or quick to remove your information from people finders, so arm yourself with patience.
Some will ask you to open an account to submit an opt-out form, so you can create a new email and not use it anywhere else. If you use an existing email, it might accumulate spam.
Look yourself up
You might have to look up what information about you there is online. Checking site by site is tedious. Instead, google your name in quotes, ex. “Amanda Sheffield.”
Search for the opt-out page and submit a request
Many people finders have a page dedicated explicitly to opting out of their database or having them hide your data. Google the name of the website followed by “opt-out.”
When you find the opt-out page, follow the instructions to complete and send a request. They might ask you to share a URL where your info is available, which is why you should look for your info on the site first.
Consider what details you must share in advance, so you don’t provide more personal information than needed. If they ask for a photo ID, black out any data on the card that wasn’t requested. Just make sure you don’t damage the card.