As computers and online information grow, so does the risk of people invading your privacy through public information. A few years ago a site named spokeo.com went online and spread around how your information was available to people who wanted to pay. Today, a new site is taking the privacy levels to a new low. FamilyTreeNow.com is a site meant to allow you to build family tree’s for free using public information to help build that data. The problem is it exposes easily to unregistered (untracked) visitors your past addresses, family members, and history. All sites have an opt out method, but of course they make it difficult to perform.
Here are some sites and Opt-Out policies you should take some time to complete in order to opt out.
This site requires you to use a computer and not a mobile browser to properly opt out. You can only Opt Out if you start from the opt out search page, and can only opt out of one name at a time. Repeat the process from the beginning for person you would like to opt-out.
- Start at the Opt Out page – Opt Out – FamilyTreeNow.com
- Confirm you are not a robot and click “Begin Opt Out Procedure”
- Perform a search for your record.
- Once you find your record click “View Details”
- Click Opt Out of this record in red. (If you do not see this button, you need to start over from the first search page linked)
This site will not display all the private information to non-registered / non-paying customers, but you can find your profile publicly to opt-out. Some of the profiles are redirects to other business or public information sites so its a little tricky at times, but you need to find your spokeo.com profile.
- Go to spokeo.com
- Search for your name with the name search
- Sort through the results and find your name with the correct city you lived in. You might have multiple profiles here (one for each city you have lived).
- Click on the See Results for the profile. This should redirect to a URL that is in the format (http://www.spokeo.com/FIRST-LASTNAME/STATE/CITY/RANDOM_CHARACTERS)
- Copy this URL to your clipboard and open a new browser window
- Navigate to the Opt-Out Page at Spokeo
- Paste in the URL from your profile, and add your email address. This email address is sent the confirmation link to remove the profile.
- Click “Remove This Listing”
- Check your email and click the link in the email to remove from the listing.
- Go to peek you.com
- Search for your name with the name search.
- Click on the result that matches your description / profile
- Click on Opt Out in the right corner of the profile page. This will bring you to a form to complete and submit.
You can see the many types of sites like this out on the internet from this reddit post. It is wise to try and protect yourself from each one of these sites if you are concerned over your online privacy. Many of these sites are more involved to get the data and to remove the data. Some requiring mailing forms or uploads of photo ID to prove who you are. I’m not keen on uploading photo ID to a site I already don’t trust with my information. If you do this, I highly recommend masking our or blacking out personal information (Everything but photo, name, address) the site doesn’t know already.
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