People-finding sites collect and sell every detail they can digitally get their hands on: your name, address, past and present phone numbers, birthday, education and work history, property records, financial details, police records and more.
Because people search sites get their information from public records and data brokers, this is all legal. Tap or click here for more information on how these sites work.
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Opt-out Tuesday is our weekly series where we walk you through opting out of people-finding sites. This week, we’ll show you how to disable Private Eye.
Avoid people search sites at all costs, especially if it costs you
Before we get to the steps, a reminder: never pay for a paging service. Many of these sites are fraudulent in nature. You may think you’re paying for a report and find you’ve been hit with recurring charges.
Also, don’t pay to have your information removed from any site. This process should be provided free of charge.
Finally, be very careful about the links you click on. These are often advertisements that take you to another site that asks for payment. We will provide specific links to remove you from these sites with each Opt-out Tuesday report. If a button or link redirects you to another site, your best bet is to close and start over.
Not just for friends or family
People finder sites advertise themselves as useful tools for finding long-lost loved ones, but the truth is that anyone can use their services. A jealous ex, a hacker, a crook, these sites do not discriminate against their customers.
Private Eye’s FAQ states that its database contains over 10 billion records. They also say that records are never deleted and are continually added and updated.
“Each time an individual moves and a new address is reported, it is added to the database. The old address also remains in the database. We have records dating back to the early 1980s, which equates to almost 40 years of address history for some people. Yeah.
Fire that private detective
Here’s how to remove yourself from the Private Eye database, which is owned by PeopleFinders:
- Tap or click the Opt out button.
- You will be redirected to a page with an animated dancing hamster. The text says you have been deleted, but you should wait a few days and try again to be on the safe side.
Do you no longer want to receive ads for weight loss or dating? Here’s how to unsubscribe
Opt-out Tuesday: How to opt out of BeenVerified