How to help prevent people from finding me online
Many sites on the Internet that are capable of finding people using their phone number or full name are relying on their information from public records. These records can include anything from bankruptcy, court, marriage, divorce, etc. Unfortunately, any site that is gathering its information from public records will pull your name, number, or address from these records. Below are some steps and removal pages you can visit to help remove yourself from these pages.
Verify company's privacy policies
Many companies will share much of the information you provide them on electronically, on paper, and even over the phone. Make sure before giving any personal information away that you ask about the company's privacy policies and to opt out of any information or public information sharing the company has.
Open and use a P.O. Box
Creating and using a P.O. Box for your home address is an easy and effective method of removing your home address from public records. Click here to open the official USPS change address form.
Avoid social networks
Social networking sites like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are one of the easiest ways to find information about someone online today. Avoid social networks if you want to stay anonymous. Or, if you want to use a social network, use a different name. In the case of Facebook, make sure that your Privacy settings are set so that only your friends can find and view your profile. Also, make sure to edit your settings so that search engines are blocked.
Don't give out any unneeded information
Many companies will request more information than they need, for example, e-mail addresses often requested by not used. When filling out a form or giving out information only give information that is required.
Court ordered removal
In some extreme cases, you can obtain a court-ordered removal or seal of some or all public records.
Individual website removal
Many of the sites that list your personal information do have methods of removing your personal information from being listed on their site. However, this only removes your record from that site and not any other site that lists your public information. With dozens of sites capable of finding you, you would need to remove your records from each of these pages and watch each site to make sure it is not added back. Below are sites and other company links that collect and use public information.
Companies handling private data:
A company who specializes in collecting names, addresses, and phone numbers used for marketing.
Acxiom provides information on users to various agencies, governments, and businesses. Although you cannot remove all information since it is used by law enforcement, you can have your information removed from their marketing database.
The DMA or Direct Marketing Association is an association that specializes in direct marketing tools and technique and maintains a database of names used in direct marketing.
Intelius provides users with a method of performing online background checks.
Website information lookup:
Google phone book removal:
There are also dozens of other sites that can be used to pull personal records, which you can find by searching Google. Often removal instructions for each of these sites can be found through the sites company information, FAQ information, or privacy information pages.