10 Life Hacks That Help Remove Private Data From the Internet

We asked our support managers Marina and Anthony to tell us more about useful tips to simplify and speed up the process of removing private information from the Internet. They use them everyday to remove hundreds of personal records and you will be able too!

Mary Scotorenko

Editor of OneRep Blog

#1 Use Opt-Out Templates

Save your time! First and foremost, get ready to send dozens removal requests. In most cases, you will be asked to send an email, fax, a letter or fill out the form on the website with the request to delete your information. You will have to do this over and over again, not to mention that removal requests would be of the same type. To make your life easier, create a template for opt-out requests. This hack will save your time and will prevent you from writing the same message over and over again. The opt-out template below is applicable for most data brokers and people-search websites.

Subject: Opt-out request

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is (First, Last Names). I prepared this request to remove personally identifiable information about me. To prevent identity theft, stalker issue and physical harm, I ask you to remove:

1) The following webpage from your website:

2) The following personally identifiable information about me from your website’s database:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Middle initial
  • Aliases & AKA's
  • Current address
  • Age
  • DOB
  • Phone number

Please, find attached a copy of the driver’s license/ID that contains personally identifiable information about me.

Thank you for respecting my privacy and honoring my choices regarding personally identifiable information. I would appreciate confirmation from you regarding this request.

Sincerely,

First and Last names
Date
Signature

#2 Stay secure while sending ID documents

People are often unaware that an opt-out email should be accompanied with a copy of driver’s license or ID. But almost in all cases it’s obligatory. Why do websites ask to attach copies of driver’s license or State ID? Simply to make sure that they are going to remove exactly your information and not somebody else’s. For security reasons you may cross out the numbers and photos on the documents.

#3 Use reminder apps

The removal time may vary. In some cases it takes just a few seconds to process your request, whereas for others you will have to wait 1-2 months. All that you can do in this situation is to be patient and check the specific website at the end of the removing period. As you probably remove your private data from many people-search websites and databases, it wouldn’t be superfluous to set reminders on your phone or laptop.

60 days

This is how much may it take to process the opt out request.

#4 Fax gets quicker response than email

Use fax. This is our professional observation. In many cases we get a faster feedback using fax rather than email. But what if you will use both? Than your chances for a quick response will double. Don’t miss any opportunity to contact the website.

#5 Contact webmaster and host

In special cases. If you’d already made opt-out request but didn’t get either positive results or any reaction than it’s time to seek help from webmasters. How to do this?

  1. Go to the website whois.
  2. Enter domain name or IP Address of the website you want to erase your information.
  3. Find contacts (Registrant/Admin Email/Phone).
  4. Write or call to the webmaster. Explain that you’ve already complied with all removal conditions and waited the right amount of time according to the privacy policy of a particular website.

If that doesn’t help, write to a host.

  1. Find the website’s IP. Find it here.
  2. Check IP’s whois, for example, here.
  3. Find contacts to write an abuse letter.

#6 Use OneRep Opt-Out Instructions

Every single website has its own opt-out policy not to mention the existence of hundreds people-search websites and data brokers. It takes time to feel perfectly comfortable in this large flow of information and know what kind of method to use to remove private data from a base. A lot of websites are striving to help people in their fight against data brokers by making lists with opt-out instructions or just providing the link to the websites’ privacy policy. Have a look at some websites that make such lists:

Pay attention that most of these lists with removal instructions were created in 2010 - 2013 which means that they are out of date.

Based on the websites above it is enough to submit form in order to be removed from a data broker base. However now you have to pass through several steps: filling out forms, sending opting out requests with attached State ID documents.

OneRep сonstantly checks all instructions in the list. We make step by step removal instructions with print screens on the vast majority of people-search websites, data brokers and always in the search of new ones. Use OneRep opt-out instructions!

All removal instructions at one place.

Discover how to opt out of Whitepages, Spokeo, Intelius, and 100+ people search websites and data brokers.

#7 Use VPN

For security reasons you may use VPN - a virtual private network. It is used to create a secure network connection over a public network such as the Internet or a private network owned by a service provider. Large corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies use VPN technology to enable remote users to securely connect to a private network. It is a good way to secure your IP address and it also avoids a limit on automated privacy requests. For examples, some people-search websites (spokeo.com) impose a page limit, which means that you wouldn’t be able to remove all personal records about yourself, friends and family members.

The easiest and the shortest way to install VPN is the following:

  1. Open Opera browser.
  2. Click on Settings.

    3. Type “VPN” in an empty field and then click on “Enable VPN”

After you’ve installed VPN, continue the removal process from people-search sites. OneRep Opt Out Instructions would help you in that.

#8 Be nice

Yes! Simply as that. We realise that you may feel depressed or even angry. Try to calm down. Unfortunately there is no law prohibiting to collect and spread online personal data. In other words they are not obliged to remove public records. BUT! We are all human beings. Ordinary people are sitting on the other side of the computer screen. Always remember that and send your opt-out requests showing respect. And you will be surprised how attentively they will be considered. And always remember: aggression generates aggression.

So be nice 🙂

#9 Remove outdated content from Google and Bing

If a people-search website has removed your profile but the link still shows up in Google search results — don’t panic!

That means that Google hasn’t reindexed its search engine yet. The link will naturally disappear in 1-2 weeks.

To remove a dead link from Google search engine:

  1. Open the Google Removal Tool.
  2. Just enter the URL (http://example.com) you want to remove.
  3. Wait 1-2 business days. The link will be removed.

To remove a dead link from Bing search engine:

  1. Go to bing.com and sign in with your Microsoft account (formerly known as Windows Live ID).
  2. In the Content URL input box, enter the exact URL you found in the Bing web results (for example, by using Copy Shortcut/Copy Link Address functionality in your browser).
  3. In the Removal Type drop-down menu select Page Removal.
  4. Click Submit.

Unfortunately, there is no similar tool on Yahoo. If you need to remove a dead link from Yahoo search engine make sure that a non-Yahoo website has removed your personal records and wait until Yahoo updates its content refresh cycle (up to 6-8 weeks). Until then you’ll see the result in question in Yahoo Search results.

#10 Use the removal service

Nothing could be easier and nothing will save your time and nerves as much. This is the main goal of OneRep! The system automatically scans people-search websites and databases including spokeo, beenverified, instantcheckmate, intelius, peekyou, zabasearch., find exposed private information about a person (address, cell phone, DOB, e-mails, age and etс.), and removes personal data from these websites.

Your Time is Valuable. Let Us Help You.

OneRep offers its members a continuous monitoring and automated removal of their private information.