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Sun May 6, 2018, 05:20 PM

Deleting Internet "People Finder Sites" Info., Worth It?

You may have run across various people finder websites when trying to find forgotten friends' phone numbers or addresses. Or maybe — as I discovered — a near stranger found out a lot about me by paying a small fee.
If you're uncomfortable with the information that’s publicly available about you, you can try to delete yourself by using one of the online reputation services, like DeleteMe. I did this, and for the most part it’s been successful. But buyer beware: It can be costly.

People finder companies like Spokeo, White Pages and BeenVerified offer detailed background reports on individuals that can include contact information, addresses, properties owned or leased, court and criminal records, liens, judgments and more. To access the database you’ll generally pay a fee that varies by how much information you want. Law enforcement, private investigators and journalists regularly utilize these services. So, too, do stalkers, ex-spouses, and others seeking to invade your privacy.

“People-search sites have some of the most sensitive and revealing information,” Gennie Gebhart, a consumer privacy, surveillance, and security issues expert with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said. “If it’s publicly viewable information about you on the Internet, it’s probably being ‘scraped.’”
People-search sites also aggregate information not normally considered public: our cell phone and Social Security numbers, our kids’ names, where we work, what movies we’ve seen, even our Amazon wish lists.

Check yourself out. I think you will be very uncomfortable with what you find. I was surprised to find that just one week after my divorce was finalized my marital status had been updated to “single.” The names and addresses of my close relatives were listed, as were my phone numbers going back more than 20 years...Cont.

Read More: USA Today, "Delete Yourself from the Internet's People Finder Sites: Is It Worth It?", May 4, 2018

>Any experience with this, is it effective or a rip off?

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Reply Deleting Internet "People Finder Sites" Info., Worth It? (Original post)
appalachiablue May 2018 OP
Rorey May 2018 #1
appalachiablue May 2018 #2
Rorey May 2018 #3
appalachiablue May 2018 #4
Rorey May 2018 #5

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:56 PM

1. Sounds like an ad for DeleteMe

Personally, I wouldn't waste my money on it.

I do a big part of the initial background checks for prospective tenants. I've been quite stunned at how easy it is to find out a whole lot about people without much effort, and without spending a dime. I don't have confidence that a service like DeleteMe can scrub as fast as the information is put out there. In this day and age, it's just too pervasive.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #1)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:26 PM

2. I give the paper more credit and wouldn't go that far. Many people

could have reason to try out these services, especially if they're being stalked, threatened or harmed in other ways as noted in the article, even with increased ways of collecting and disseminating personal data now. There's a few online review links for DeleteMe, I can't post all but here's one, not tops but it gives some info. and mixed reviews as expected.


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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #2)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:08 PM

3. Oh, I have no doubt that some have reason to try it out

I've been stalked. I know how it feels. I'm just saying that I don't think these services can keep up.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #3)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:15 PM

4. So you know of potential serious side effects. Many of us also sense

limitations to restricting personal data with the rapid pace of things. The article notes how low income people will be most impacted because they can't afford services to try to contain sensitive information which is unfair. So with few choices and over time people will have to adapt somehow, all I know for now. Years back I was followed home by a loser scoping out where we lived. Things were resolved but it was creepy all the same. Not a pearl clutcher!

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 11:50 PM

5. Yeah, I had to drive to the police station a few times

It really sucked when I'd get off work late at night, dead tired, and couldn't drive home because a creep was following me. These days they don't even have to follow you. A quick Internet search will show them way more than anyone should have a right to know. Our days of privacy are over, I'm afraid.

I just don't think that sites like the one you mentioned are worth the money. They only scrub the major sites, and it's just a temporary fix.

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