Spokeo.com Opt Out Guide: How to Opt Out from Spokeo.com?
Safely removing your information from “people finder” sites like spokeo.com is critical to keep your privacy intact. Understandably, people want to get rid of the publicly available information about them. The process of opting out of spokeo.com and getting the information removed from the website is not complicated at all. However, you would want to make sure that you are following the right procedure.
What is Spokeo?
It is an online database that collects publicly available information about people from different sources on the web. It is not the only website that does it, and you can find hundreds of similar sites over the internet with related information available.
How does it collect information about you?
Generally, when people come to know about the information available on Spokeo about them, they panic, assuming that the website has access to their private information. It is a misconception, and you should not believe what some people say about their method of collecting data. To be fair here, Spokeo is not breaking any law by searching and sharing information about you. Believe it or not, they have the legal right to do so. The same goes for the other websites that aggregate information about people.
These websites use specially designed web scraping software that searches and aggregates all the information that you can find over the internet. It searches for different public records, websites, ownership records, etc. to find whatever information it can collect on a particular person. There is a lot of information about you that is available in the public domain, and it is the base from where Spokeo starts to build your profile. If any information is available on Spokeo.com, that means it is available somewhere else in the public domain.
Why is it an issue if the information is available in the public domain?
There is a fair chance that your photos, phone number, home address, and other information are available on an unsecured page somewhere. All of that Spokeo.com can scrap and collect in one place. It is a problem because the source might not be accessed easily in the search results. Still, once the information is available in one place, anyone who is looking you up will find the info aggregated in one place. It is not a good thing personally, as well as professionally. It can harm your relationships with potential partners, customers, and coworkers, and dates.
How to opt-out of Spokeo
The way people take the availability of their personal information on the public domain differs from person to person. Some may not find it problematic while others can get a panic attack by finding the said information aggregated in one place. Spokeo thus has an option that allows you to request data removal, also known as “Opt-Out” from the website. As it is collecting the information legally, they are bound by the law to remove the said information upon request as well. Here is a step by step procedure that you can follow to get your information removed from spokeo.com.
2. In the next step, visit spokeo.com and search for your name. Make sure to use different variations of your name, which other people can use. Once you find the information, start sorting out the data based on your current status like the place you live.
3. Now select your current address and copy the URL of the page that provides the information. Paste the information in a document or notepad.
4. Now scroll down on spokeo.com and look for the link that says “Privacy.” Select the option that says “Opt-Out” on it.
5. Paste the URL of the page where your information is available and provide your newly created email ID. Make sure to enter correct CAPTCHA to proceed. Now click on “Remove the listing.”
6. You will receive an email from Spokeo to confirm the removal of the information. Click on the link in the email to confirm.
Repeat the process for all the listings for the other locations you might have stayed in. Please note that you can request only five removals at a time.
Once you have opted out from Spokeo, there is more work that you have to do. The point is if Spokeo got the information from somewhere, it is still available on the public platform. The other websites that are hundreds in number still have access to the data. There is free reputation management software available in the market that will show you the sources of such information. This software also provides the procedures that you can follow for each site to quickly protect yourself.
There are two strategies that you will need to follow -- suppression and insertion. You can hire someone who follows these strategies for you. The main idea behind these two strategies is to insert positive information about you over the internet and keep it available in the first twenty to thirty results. Most of the people do not even go to the second page of the results that mean if they search you, they will find only the information that makes you look good.
In today’s digital world, it is not possible to keep all your information hidden all the time. The laws are changing in your favor, but it will take time to have a firm policy to stop companies and websites from mining publicly available information to collect your data. Till then, it is up to you to remove the said information from as many locations as possible.