• Risks to reputation and privacy arise from personal data on other websites. Maintaining a clean online record is crucial for security.
• Search engines, social media platforms, and websites gather and disseminate personally identifiable data that may be exploited.
•Social media profiles and official databases are the sources of data for public websites. Take care while disclosing excessive information online.
Has your address or phone number appeared on unidentified websites? Or maybe it’s old pictures or postings on social media?
Efficiently clearing up your own online record is crucial since any number of issues could arise from your personal data falling into the wrong hands and ruining your reputation or privacy.
But, there are numerous websites storing your data, and there are insufficient methods for removing your personal data from public records, so it’s not always simple. In any case, not effortlessly.
Which Categories of Websites Get Your Personal Information?
Common websites include those that display addresses, are online directories, and provide background checks. Websites such as Whitepages.com exist, providing personal data about a large number of Americans.
These websites frequently have some publicly accessible information. Then, they charge for the ability to view complete data, including phone numbers, complete addresses, and so forth.
Internet search engines and social networking businesses own a plethora of information on you which could be exploited, in addition to public listing sites.
What Personal Information Is On The Internet About You?
Numerous details about you, including but not limited to your name, might be gathered by these websites.
• Your residence as of right now.
• Assets, including your home ownership status.
Even more private information, like your social security number, might be accessible to certain websites.
Why Is It Bad That Personal Data Is Available?
You are susceptible to spear phishing, SIM swapping, identity theft, and other cyberattacks if a hacker obtains this information. It is easier for someone to pose as you or target you if more individuals have access to your personal information.
It’s important that you remove this information if privacy concerns you. This is especially crucial if you wish to stay away from harassment or stalking.
Where Is The Data for These Websites Sourced?
These websites could be obtrusive and bothersome, but they’re not prohibited. These websites collect information that is already publicly available, even though you did not personally provide them with your information.
Frequently, these websites obtain their data from open government repositories. These consist of land use records, marriage certificate records, criminal record databases, census records, and electoral roll records, among others.
Your profiles on social media are another place that a lot of websites get their information from. Your personally identifiable information on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites that is open to the public will probably wind up on an online directory website. You should think about how much information you share online.
How to Delete Personal Data From Online Public Records
Listing websites used to make it very hard for you to get your info removed. In order to discourage you, they would frequently add processes, such as printing and mailing a paper form or even asking you to deliver a fax.
However, as a result of the EU’s GDPR, websites now have to provide you with a practical means of removing your personal data. A website that operates within Europe has to give you the option to remove information, even if you don’t live there. It’s also free to have your personal information removed from these websites. Although some websites may charge you for the removal of your personal information from the internet, the majority of well-known websites offer a formal request process that shouldn’t cost you a thing.
Here are three methods to have your information deleted from publicly accessible web records.
Eliminate All Social Media Traces
In this case, your primary attention will likely be on Facebook and X. Fortunately, there is a function on Facebook that allows you to bulk remove your older posts. Any PC can be used for this.
1. Sign into your Facebook account. To see your profile, click on your name.
2. Just below the area where you can create a new post, click Manage posts.
3. To arrange your posts in a certain order, use the Filter.
4. To designate a post for bulk deletion, check the box next to it.
5. Select “Next.”
6. Choose the option to remove posts radiobox on the following screen and click Done.
In a few seconds, all of the posts you have chosen will be removed.
Unlike Facebook, X does not have an option that allows you to mass remove previous tweets. Third-party programs with free plans, such as TweetDelete and Tweet Deleter, are an option.
Now, use a comparable strategy on your Instagram. Go to your account settings and remove all of your old or unwanted postings at once. Here’s how to do it:
1. After logging in, select More (three lines) at the bottom left of the screen.
2. Next, choose Your Activity.
3. Choose “Photos and videos.”
4. Choose either Highlights, Reels, or Posts, based on what you wish to remove.
5. Click Select to pick posts, and then pick every post you want to remove.
6. Press Delete to finish.
After the last step, you will be prompted for confirmation. Posts on Instagram will be immediately removed when you click the Delete button.
Remove Old Accounts and Emails
Sensitive information that could be exploited against you can be found in plenty in the old, useless emails in your account. Old emails from people you haven’t communicated with in years should be deleted for your own security.
In the future, though, what if you find that you unexpectedly need them again? If you are worried that you might, simply save the messages to your computer. All things considered, that will be far safer than cloud servers.
Paying for a secure email service is something you should think about doing if you are able to afford it.
Request that Data Brokers Remove Your Records
Companies known as “online data brokers” gather personal data about you, such as your date of birth, gender, and place of residence. They occasionally also contain additional personal information, such as facts about your partner and how many children you have, among other things.
They use this database about you to create a more accurate picture of you for marketing and advertising, which they then sell to other businesses.
Thankfully, you can request that these websites erase your data. All you need to do is send them an email. These are a few of the most well-known websites for gathering data:
If you ask them to, the majority of well-known brokers will delete all or some of your information. However, be advised that online data brokers may occasionally request more information from you in the removal form. Never add any new material; only ever provide the details that are already on the website.
If you’re pressed for time, you can also employ online content or data cleanup services. They will clear the area for you in exchange for a service fee.
Remove All Information From Google Search
Keeping your Google search results under control is a significant step towards deleting your personal information from public records.
Google is known for its quick search speed, but it also has a lot of potential privacy problems. One of its products, namely Google Search, displays your sensitive information without authorization.
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to remove. For instance, Google Support makes it simple to get outdated images or other content removed if it appears when you search for yourself.
In the event that Google finds your information when searching for you, you can also ask them to delete the number of your bank account, government ID, the signatures of the and other information. To initiate a removal request, simply navigate to the Google Customer Support website once more. Proceed as follows from the newly displayed page:
1. Click Next after choosing the cause for the content removal and entering your country of residence.
2. Select the categories of personal data you wish to have deleted (such as addresses, government IDs, signature photos, etc.), provide any further information that may be requested, and click Next.
3. Add extra information, such as your email address, the URL of an image or piece of content, screenshots, etc.
4. Click Next after checking the confirmation box.
And that’s it. After submitting your request, you will receive a confirmation email directly to your Google account. Google will investigate the matter and delete any dangerous information from URLs that fall under its policy’s purview. If not, a concise explanation along with the cause will be sent to you via email.
Google has made it easier to remove undesired or outdated content. But it’s insufficient. Long-term, the best course of action for protecting your privacy is to move to Google alternatives that prioritize privacy.
Get Rid of Your Personal Information and Be Safe
Websites that offer addresses, directories, and background checks are all common. Without your consent, they can build a list of your personal details. Numerous pieces of personal data are also stored by all of the contemporary search engine businesses.
You can simply take your information out of public records by applying the tips in this article. In this manner, you’ll prevent your data from getting into the hands of bad actors or organizations.