If you value your online privacy, you’ll likely want to remove yourself from Spokeo. Thankfully, with our straightforward instructions, you can complete a successful Spokeo opt-out in just four easy steps.
We’ll also touch briefly on other websites from which you may wish to remove your personal information and explain more about the process both on Spokeo and elsewhere.
But first, what actually IS Spokeo?
Did you know, for example, that people can use Spokeo to potentially look up your home address from the seemingly anonymous usernames that you’ve given yourself online over the years?
Or that the company is currently raking in tens of millions of dollars every year from selling people’s personal records to all manner of potentially unscrupulous individuals, businesses, and other organizations?
What is Spokeo?
Spokeo has recently attracted growing criticism owing to the dangers posed by making individuals’ personal information and physical addresses freely available online.
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, Spokeo publicly shares a trove of personally identifying information about millions of often unwitting people on the web. The chances are that, yes, you yourself are listed on the platform.
This is likely to include your age, home address, and more – all available to anyone keen to look you up by name. Anyone curious to do so may also look you up by phone number, email address, or any one or more of the various usernames that you use or have previously used online.
Spokeo claims to offer its service to help organize information about people for a number of reasons.
Reasons posed by Spokeo include supporting local businesses and helping individuals to reconnect with their long-lost family members and friends. Spokeo also claims that its website can be used to uncover scammers and to make it easier for people across the U.S. to discover and explore their online footprints.
However, in addition to the safety concerns inherently tied to this practice, Spokeo has been further criticized for not just sharing such information but for simultaneously profiting from it, too.
Spokeo, it’s reported, currently enjoys an estimated $57 million in revenue from sharing and selling YOUR personal information.
Keen to take back control of your privacy and remove your personal information from Spokeo’s clutches? Here’s everything that you need to know to successfully opt-out of Spokeo in just four easy steps.
Spokeo opt-out: Step 1
To begin the Spokeo opt-out process, first find the listing that you’d like to see removed.
You can do this directly via the Spokeo website or by searching for your name or any other identifying information on, for example, Google or Bing.
Spokeo opt-out: Step 2
Step two requires you to take down the URL for the listing in question. Copy this from your browser’s address bar.
Alternatively, if you’re searching for yourself via the Spokeo directory, right-click on your listing, rather than clicking normally on the link to visit it, and choose to “copy link address” instead.
This is most easily accomplished on a desktop computer or laptop, but you can take similar steps to complete the process on your phone, tablet, or most other internet-enabled devices.
Spokeo opt-out: Step 3
Head to the Spokeo opt-out page at Spokeo.com/optout and paste your listing’s URL into the appropriate field as instructed. You can do this by right-clicking on the field and selecting “paste.”
Next, enter your email address in the field underneath. Spokeo will send a verification link to you, so it’s essential to use a valid email address.
Complete the “I’m not a robot” reCAPTCHA process to prove that you’re a real person, then click “REMOVE THIS LISTING” to proceed.
Spokeo opt-out: Step 4
Finally, check your emails. Spokeo will email you a link that you need to click on in order to confirm your opt-out request.
Once this is done, your Spokeo listing will then be removed by the website’s team.
If you’re struggling with the process, you can reach out directly to Spokeo for help.
Spokeo’s staff are available via telephone, email, live chat, or by completing an online form. Spokeo promises to respond to all messages within 24 hours.
To speak to someone at Spokeo, call 888-558-9004. Alternatively, to email Spokeo regarding an opt-out request, send a message to [email protected] directly.
Finally, to either complete Spokeo’s online contact form or to use the company’s live chat function, head to Spokeo.com/contact and follow the instructions on the page.
Spokeo opt-out: What does the company say about the matter?
“Spokeo aggregates publicly available information from third-party sources. Therefore, removing a listing from our directory will not remove your information from its original source, and your information might still appear on other directory sites,” says the brand.
“You may have multiple listings on Spokeo, each of which is identified by a unique URL and must be removed individually. Since we continually receive new and updated records, please regularly check Spokeo for additional listings that may appear,” they add.
Of course, the company is keen to point out that removing yourself from Spokeo won’t remove your information from other websites. This, it could be argued, goes largely without saying.
However, the fact remains that Spokeo is committed to putting your personal information front and center, and to making you as easy to find online as possible.
By opting out of Spokeo, you’re removing yourself from one of the largest sources of personal information on the web. In that sense, it’s always a smart move. Yes, there may be other information out there, but it’ll likely be presented much less prominently than on Spokeo.
Multiple Spokeo listings
Spokeo, by its own admission, isn’t always terribly well organized. Many people, in fact, may find that they have multiple listings on the platform – something that Spokeo makes no effort to shy away from.
If you feature in multiple listings, you’ll need to opt-out of these one at a time. When doing so, make a note of the individual, unique URLs so that you can check that not just one but all of your various Spokeo listings have been successfully removed.
When checking again in the future for possible new listings, be sure to repeat the same process to prevent multiple listings from popping up a second time around.
Opting out of other websites
Once you’ve successfully opted out of Spokeo, you’re likely to want to take similar steps to remove your personal information from other, similar websites.
Start by looking to remove yourself from Whitepages, BeenVerified, MyLife, and Instant Checkmate. All of these platforms offer a similar service to Spokeo.
Whitepages provides online directory, identity verification, background check, and fraud screening services to both businesses and individuals. Founded in 1997, Whitepages currently boasts the largest database of either Spokeo, BeenVerified, MyLife, or Instant Checkmate.
As such, it’s important to address any listings on Whitepages if you’re committed to opting out of Spokeo and similar websites.
BeenVerified, meanwhile, provides people search services and criminal background checks via its website and mobile application, better known as the Background Check App.
At the same time, MyLife—also previously known as Reunion.com and Wink.com—is an information brokerage firm, founded in 2002 and operating in much the same way as Spokeo.
MyLife uses the information that it gathers to automatically generate so-called MyLife Public Pages. If you’re unhappy with this, be sure to also opt-out of MyLife at the same time as opting out of Spokeo, Whitepages, and BeenVerified.
Finally, Instant Checkmate is a predominantly background check-focused service that uses criminal records and other information to create personally identifying listings for its website.
Those not happy to have their information listed by Instant Checkmate are invited by the company to complete their opt-out process.
Free online privacy consultation
Whether you’re concerned about listings on Spokeo and similar websites or your online privacy more generally, at Internet Privacy, we’re here to help.
Experts in online privacy, reputation management, public relations, search engine optimization, and more, for over a decade, we’ve been helping people to take back control of their names and the names of their businesses and brands.
Are you looking to take back control of your own name? Apply online now for a free digital reputation and privacy consultation courtesy of our team of analysts, software gurus, and legal professionals. For more info, contact us at 844-917-0925.