How to opt out from websites that store your personal information


This story is sponsored by Incogni. PhoneArena's opinions in this article have not been affected in any way!

Your personal information being collected, posted, and being publicly available to anyone willing to do a simple search has become a hot topic recently. As awareness grows, so do concerns… and also more and more people learn that they can simply google your name and find things you didn’t even know you posted at some point, somewhere.

For example, there are “people search sites” like Radaris, Smart Background Checks, Whitepages, and others, which simply build a profile on you without you ever registering. Things like your full name, address, possible relatives and connections, place of work, and others can simply be… there — for anyone to read into.

The dangers of having your info online can vary from the evident “it’s creepy”, to enabling elaborate scams:

  • You can be easily doxxed
  • Makes it easy to target those family members that are more susceptible to scams
  • Can be used as a starting point for financial / credit card theft
  • Can be used to find your online presence and attempt hacking into your profiles
  • Did we mention it’s creepy?

How do I remove myself from a background check website?

The good news is that each and every one of these websites are required by law to have an opt-out procedure. Kind of annoying that you never registered for them, but need to seek your profile out to scrub it clean, right?

On most of them, you need to scroll around to find the opt-out link, or do an Internet search with the name of the site plus the phrase “opt out” — like smartbackgroundchecks opt out, or whitepages opt out — to make it easier on yourself. From then, on, you submit your email address, look up the data you want to have deleted and submit your request. Wait a bit, and it should be scrubbed within a few days (different jurisdictions allow for different deadlines for deletion requests).

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Sounds like a headache, not to mention — how are you even supposed to know the names of all the online libraries out there?

Use Incogni to automatically delete your personal information

Option two is much easier, automatic, and certainly more efficient. Incogni knows who the online libraries and the information brokers are. And it has an elaborate process, which combines AI with human input, to find out where your data has been stored and submit deletion requests on your behalf.

Even if the websites decline or don’t react to the requests, Incogni will follow up automatically and basically not let up until they comply. Even if, at a later date, the library collects your data from elsewhere and lists it again, Incogni will request it be taken down — again! Which is why this offer for an annual subscription will be pretty useful:

Subscribe to Incogni

Get 50% off annual plan!
(use code “phonearena” for an extra 5% off!)

How to minimize your personal information leaks, reduce your digital footprint

Where does all this data even come from? Simple — social media websites, innocent apps (like for takeaway food), online forums, every little random website that coaxed you into giving up your email before you can access something you needed.

A lot of these platforms either don’t put enough care into keeping what should be private — private — or they eventually get hacked.

So, what can you do?

  • Be cautious with what data you provide when filling out forms or registering for various platforms — is everything required
  • Have a junk email account (with a unique password) to provide to non-important platforms
  • Consider using a VPN for most of your daily browsing
  • Keep an eye on your credit reports and financial data to see if there’s any activity you don’t recognize
  • Opt out of Radaris and other people search sites and data brokers on a regular basis

And Incogni can help you out with this last one. Instead of bookmarking the Google search for smartbackgroundchecks opt out, you can rest easy knowing that the service will be sending deletion requests to sites and brokers you know and don’t even know about.

As soon as you register, you can get it to work for you, and follow Incogni’s process on your personal dashboard. You will be informed where your data was found, which websites have been notified, and which ones have already complied with the deletion.

After this, you should notice a drop in robocalls and spam mails, as well as enjoy better peace of mind. It’s still a good idea to follow the above points on how you can minimize your digital footprint, though — Incogni is just one of the (very powerful) tools you have at your disposal!

Check out the link below to get 50% off on a full year of Incogni service!

Subscribe to Incogni

Get 50% off annual plan!
(use code “phonearena” for an extra 5% off!)

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