How to help prevent people from finding me online

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Remaining anonymous onlineMany 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 bankruptcy, court, marriage, or divorce. 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. You can find the USPS change-of-address form online at moversguide.usps.com.

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, like your e-mail address. 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:

Acxiom:
https://www.acxiom.com/

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.

DMA:
http://www.dmaconsumers.org/privacystatement.html

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:
http://www.peopleconnect.us/privacy

Intelius provides users with a method of performing online background checks.

Website information lookup:

Removing information from Google:
How to request information removal from Google

PeopleLookup:
https://www.peoplelookup.com/

PrivateEye:
http://www.privateeye.com/people/Help

ZabaSearch:
http://www.zabasearch.com/about_us.php

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.

Additional information