If you’re a business owner or a public figure, it’s possible that there may be some information from your past that you don’t want available to the general public. In decades past, keeping private information private could be as simple as having records sealed, or only talking with trusted individuals about parts of your past that you don’t want to be made public.
Today, that’s not the case — protecting your online reputation can take some serious work.
People search sites make it easy for anyone to find out information about others, from criminal records to address history. Whether you simply value your privacy or there’s specific information on the internet that you’d prefer not be available to the public, it makes sense to be concerned about whether your information is available to others on people search sites.
Ready to Remove Your Information From People Search Sites?
If you’ve decided that it’s not in your best interests to have your information available on people search sites, it makes sense to go through the steps to do a Spokeo, Public Records, and/or MyLife opt out.
First, you’ll need to go to the site in question and read up on their particular policy on how to remove yourself from the site. In years past, it was quite difficult to remove yourself, and on some sites, this is still the case. You may need to fax in a copy of your driver’s license in order to prove your identity or go through other cumbersome steps in order to remove your information from the site.
If the site doesn’t have an online opt out form or link, you may need to write or call the company for further instructions on how to get your information taken down.
You’ll likely need to register with the site in order to create an account that allows you to remove your information. After you register, you’ll typically get an email link that expires within 24 hours. You’ll have a link to click within that email that may lead you to further instructions on how to remove yourself from the site.
Once You Remove Yourself — What’s Next?
One of the toughest things about controlling your online reputation — whether you’re trying to remove Yelp reviews or stop people from finding out about certain parts of your past — is staying on top of what’s out there. When new information surfaces, you may not find out until it’s too late.
If you’re choosing to manage your online reputation on your own, you’ll need to almost constantly check people’s search sites to ensure that no new information is popping up that could harm your reputation. The same goes with Yelp and other review sites — you’ll want to check multiple times a week (if not daily) to ensure that you’re on top of any information that comes to light.
A better option: hire someone to manage your online reputation for you. Reputable online reputation management companies can allow you to rest assured that you won’t be blindsided by your past (or false information) popping up online.