With the Internet becoming more friendly to businesses and advertisers, we’re seeing an increase in concern over privacy. Gone are the days of not revealing your name to “friends” in chat rooms. Now a lot of our personal information is openly available on the web, whether or not we actively send it to anyone.
Many of us continue to use Facebook even as their privacy standards decline in favor of giving companies access to our preferences and background info—essentially our demographic statistics. As long as we have the option to increase privacy settings to the necessary level, we can keep using web services for all the obvious benefits.
However, now sites like Spokeo.com will be aggregating and offering our personal information to anyone who buys an account. That includes photos on sites like Facebook, videos on sites like YouTube, home value, credit score, income, age, sex, relationship info, occupation, hobbies, etc. And members can search by name, phone, email and username, so it’s pretty easy to find anyone.
Previously someone would have had to do a lot of digital legwork to get all this info, even if it wasn’t confidential—but not anymore. Ironically, Spokeo is partnered with ReputationDefender, a web privacy service! ReputationDefender also has paid services that help make your online info and content more private. Luckily you can request to remove your Spokeo listing for free. Here’s how:
1) Visit http://spokeo.com
2) Search for your name
3) Click on your listing in the table or the map
4) Copy the page URL once the info box appears
5) Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “privacy”
6) Paste the URL in the appropriate box, enter your email and the code, and click enter
7) Check your email to click or copy/past the confirmation link (They require this so that you don’t remove other people’s listings)
Hope this helps!