How To Remove Public Records From The Internet

how to remove public records from the internetWe all want to protect our online privacy. But, it’s not always as simple as switching your social media accounts to private. Your public records can easily end up online for anyone to see. However, you can limit the amount of personal information that is available online. 

In this blog post, you will learn how to remove public records from the internet.

What are Public Records?

Public records typically refer to any document or piece of information filed with a government agency.  Agencies holding these documents must legally give access to them within a certain amount of time upon request. 

The public has the right to view these records under the Freedom of Information Act and state sunshine laws. However, these laws do allow for some personal privacy exemptions, such as for your Social Security number. 

Here are the main types of public records:

  • Vital records, including birth, marriage, and death certificates, divorce decrees, and other records held at local county clerk offices 
  • Court records, including case files, dockets, judgements, and court proceedings
  • Criminal records, including arrest records, police reports, and criminal court proceedings
  • Property records, including details about property ownerships, boundaries, values, property sales, mortgages, liens, and taxes
  • Business records, including business or occupational licenses, articles of incorporation, uniform commercial code (UCC) filings, and evidence of regulatory compliance
  • Government contracts with private businesses, including bidding documents, amounts, and contract terms
  • Meeting minutes and agendas of governmental meetings, including participant lists, proceedings, and decisions
  • Legislative records, including legislative proceedings and history, bills, and voting documents
  • Electoral records, including voter registration lists, election results, and campaign finance disclosures
  • Financial records of government entities, including budgets, audits, and financial statements
  • Health and safety records, including public health documents, restaurant inspection scores, and environmental impact assessments
  • Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including annual and quarterly reports, insider trading reports, and financial statements and disclosures
  • Drivers license information, including status, issuance, expiration dates, and traffic violations

These documents contain sensitive data, such as your phone number, email address, home address, and social security number. Certain regulations do limit access to your personal data, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get out there.

what are people search sites What Are People Search Websites?

People search sites (aka people finder sites) compile publicly available information about people and make it searchable. They gather data from public records, social media sites, social media posts, white page listings, etc.

Someone might use a people search site to:

  • find the contact information of long-lost friends, family members, and acquaintances
  • research their family history
  • perform background checks on potential employees, renters, or other individuals
  • scope out their neighbors, new acquaintances, or potential dates
  • manage their online reputation by looking for what information is out there about them

These people finder sites can offer incredibly detailed reports about individuals and their personal information. People can easily find information about you, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft, stalking, and harassment. Additionally, sometimes the information is inaccurate, meaning people can make false assumptions about you.

Some of the popular people search websites include:

  • Spokeo
  • Beenverified
  • Truthfinder
  • PeopleFinders
  • TruePeopleSearch
  • Whitepages
  • Radaris
  • Intelius
  • CheckPeople
  • USPhonebook
  • PublicRecordsSearcher

why you should remove public records online Why You Should Remove Public Records Online

One of the biggest reasons that you should remove your public records online is data brokers. If you don’t know, data brokers are companies that compile and sell your personal information to third parties. They often take your information directly from these people search sites.

Some of the common buyers of your information include:

  • advertisers & marketers
  • retailers
  • financial institutions
  • insurance companies
  • real estate companies
  • healthcare & pharmaceutical companies
  • telecommunications companies
  • technology companies
  • automotive companies
  • employers and background check companies
  • the government and law enforcement
  • political organizations and campaigns

They can use your data to:

  • target ads or political messages at you
  • assess your credit score or ability to take out a loan
  • make hiring or renting decisions
  • determine your insurance prices
  • determine the value of a property

Essentially, your data is valuable, to the tune of about $319 billion. Plus, the data brokerage industry is largely unregulated. The United States does not have any federal privacy laws to protect you from data brokers. That means you have to protect yourself from the 540 data brokers that exist in the US.

Besides data brokers, you have plenty of other reasons to remove your personal information from people search sites, including:

  • prevent identity theft
  • avoid harassment or stalking
  • keep your contact information private
  • prevent burglaries and break-ins by keeping your home address private
  • protect your privacy and safeguard your peace of mind
  • have more control over your online presence and reputation

prevent people from taking your information out of context

How To Delete Public Records Online (Step-By-Step Guide)

Here is how to delete your public records from the most popular people search sites. Remember, removing your information from one site does not remove them from all sites. It also does not prevent new information from appearing on these sites in the future.

Spokeo

remove information from spokeo

To start the removal process, go to the Spokeo website and type your name into the search bar and click “Search Now”.

  1. Go to the Spokeo website and type your name into the search bar. You may need to provide additional details to narrow down the search. Find any listing that corresponds to your information.
  2. Click on your profile, and verify that the information is yours. Copy your profile’s URL from your browser’s address bar. 
  3. Navigate to Spokeo’s opt-out page to request the removal of your information.
  4. Paste the URL of your profile where it says “Enter URL here”.
  5. Enter your email address – Spokeo will send you a confirmation link to ensure your request is valid.
  6. Click the link to finish the opt-out process. The link redirects you to a final confirmation page.
opt out of spokeo

To remove your information from Spokeo, enter your profile URL and your email address.

Beenverified 

  1. To locate your records, go to the Beenverified website and type your name into the search bar. Scroll through the results to find the one that matches you.
  2. To delete your records, click the “Proceed to opt out” button.
  3. To complete your opt-out request, enter your email address, complete the CAPTCHA, and click “Send verification email”.
  4. When you receive the email from Beenverified, click the verification link.
  5. After about 24 hours, you will receive another email to confirm the deletion of your record.
  6. If Beenverified has not removed your record, contact privacy@beenverified.com.

Truthfinder

remove your records from truthfinder

To remove your public records from Truthfinder, start by going to their website and searching your name.

  1. Go to the Truthfinder website and enter your information into the search bar to locate your records.
  2. Once you find your record, click the “Remove this record” button.
  3. Enter your email address and complete the CAPTCHA to receive a verification email.
  4. When you receive the verification email, click the link to confirm your removal request.
  5. Truthfinder should remove your listing after 48 hours.

Conclusion

Regaining control of your online privacy isn’t always straightforward. However, by following these tips, you can delete your public records from the internet. Taking your records off people search sites gives you peace of mind, and also protects your reputation.

free reputation consultation

When you need help managing your online presence, the expert team at Reputation911 is here to help. We offer a variety of personal reputation management services to make you look good online. We can remove unwanted information, suppress negative search results, promote your personal brand, and more. Get in touch for a free reputation consultation today.

About The Author

William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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