How to hide from data brokers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

How to hide from data brokers

(Source: tadamichi via 123RF) (Source: tadamichi via 123RF)
(DATA DOCTORS) -

Q: Is there an easy way to get my personal information off of public listing websites?

A: If you’ve ever tried searching for someone on the Internet, you know how many "people search" sites are available online offering information for a fee.

What’s even more shocking to so many is the type of information that can be easily found: your full name, address, previous addresses, birthdate, phone number and more.

[CBS 5 INVESTIGATES: Online footprints are manageable, but not erasable]

Private or public?
While many would perceive this type of information to be private, the reality is that so much information is easily acquired because it’s actually very public.

Most of the sites you’ll run into are data brokers that collect information from a variety of public record sources: real estate transactions, court records, voter registration databases, marriage and business licenses and the list goes on.

Combining public records with social media profiles, advertising networks and your various online shopping accounts is a huge data-mining resource for many companies in today’s digital economy.

The bad news
When it comes to public records, there is very little you can do to remove your information.

If you’re willing to pay a visit to your county clerk's office, it would allow you to review what is being made public and allow you to inquire as to what information can be removed or at least redacted from the public view.

What you can do
Knowing that certain records are always going to be public should get you to start thinking like a celebrity.

High-profile individuals have always had to work harder to protect sensitive personal information and you can do the same.

Using a P.O. box or better yet, a private mailbox service from companies like the UPS Store or PostNet prevents your primary home address from being shared via public records.

A P.O. box will only accept U.S. postal mail and often can’t be used for things like voter registration, which is why having a physical address through a private mailbox service is better.

A private mailbox service can also accept the shipments from all your online purchases, further protecting your home address.

Creating a trust or a limited liability company (LLC) for all of your real estate transactions is another way to mask a lot of your personal information.  It’s important to not use personally identifiable names or your home address when you create these entities.

Opting out
Many of the data broker websites allow you to "opt-out" of their databases, but they don’t make it easy.

You’ll have to manually go to each one to make the opt-out requests, so it’s also very time-consuming. One of the most comprehensive resources for finding how to opt-out is at PrivacyRights.org.

Keep in mind, these data brokers are constantly scraping sources, so if you move, sell your home or do anything to change your public records, it will reappear in many of these databases.

If you don’t want to try to manage this manually, there are services such as Albine’s DeleteMe hat help automate the process and then monitor changes for you at the cost of $129 per year.

[MORE: Data Doctors]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Bizarre video of turkeys circling dead cat goes viral

    Bizarre video of turkeys circling dead cat goes viral

    Friday, March 3 2017 8:32 AM EST2017-03-03 13:32:34 GMT
    Friday, March 3 2017 8:37 AM EST2017-03-03 13:37:16 GMT
    Source: @TheReal_JDavis / TwitterSource: @TheReal_JDavis / Twitter

    A bizarre scene of a group of wild turkeys walking in a circle around a dead cat was caught on video by a Massachusetts man who perhaps best described it: an attempt to give the feline its 10th life. 

    A bizarre scene of a group of wild turkeys walking in a circle around a dead cat was caught on video by a Massachusetts man who perhaps best described it: an attempt to give the feline its 10th life. 

  • Dog gives birth to rare green puppy

    Dog gives birth to rare green puppy

    Wednesday, July 19 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-07-19 21:45:13 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 4:41 AM EDT2017-07-20 08:41:58 GMT
    (Photo: Twitter: Andy Gray)(Photo: Twitter: Andy Gray)

    So apparently green puppies are possible. And no, you didn’t misread that. Louise Sutherland, a Scotland native, was surprised when her puppy gave birth to a green golden retriever. 

    So apparently green puppies are possible. And no, you didn’t misread that. Louise Sutherland, a Scotland native, was surprised when her puppy gave birth to a green golden retriever. 

  • Indiana family fights to bring newborn home from Mexican hospital

    Indiana family fights to bring newborn home from Mexican hospital

    Thursday, July 20 2017 8:58 AM EDT2017-07-20 12:58:50 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:58 AM EDT2017-07-20 15:58:15 GMT
    (Source: Family Photos / WISH via CNN)(Source: Family Photos / WISH via CNN)

    The family of an American baby born premature in Mexico said the infant is being held at a hospital in Cancun until a growing medical bill is paid.

    The family of an American baby born premature in Mexico said the infant is being held at a hospital in Cancun until a growing medical bill is paid.

  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • When it comes to health plan claims, no news isn't good news

    When it comes to health plan claims, no news isn't good news

    Thursday, July 6 2017 12:47 AM EDT2017-07-06 04:47:39 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:08 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:08:21 GMT
    Olin Yarberry says in March 2016, after visiting a Dignity Health emergency room in Gilbert, he expected the claim to be paid as normal through his insurer Maricopa Health Plan. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Olin Yarberry says in March 2016, after visiting a Dignity Health emergency room in Gilbert, he expected the claim to be paid as normal through his insurer Maricopa Health Plan. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    If you don't hear from your health insurer within a few weeks regarding a recent healthcare service, you should take action.

    If you don't hear from your health insurer within a few weeks regarding a recent healthcare service, you should take action.

  • Sun Devils debut new student-athlete facility

    Sun Devils debut new student-athlete facility

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:31 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:31:48 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 7:39 PM EDT2017-07-20 23:39:38 GMT
    Todd Graham gives the first tour of the student-athlete facility to the media. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Todd Graham gives the first tour of the student-athlete facility to the media. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    The renovation of Sun Devil Stadium continues. The biggest change this season isn’t one many fans will get to see. 3TV/CBS 5 was let in to tour the new student-athlete facility with a special guest tour guide, head football coach Todd Graham.

    The renovation of Sun Devil Stadium continues. The biggest change this season isn’t one many fans will get to see. 3TV/CBS 5 was let in to tour the new student-athlete facility with a special guest tour guide, head football coach Todd Graham.

  • AZ driver's license manual updated with traffic stop tips

    AZ driver's license manual updated with traffic stop tips

    Thursday, July 20 2017 7:03 PM EDT2017-07-20 23:03:20 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 7:36 PM EDT2017-07-20 23:36:18 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    The Arizona Department of Transportation has amended the state’s driver's license manual to included text instructing prospective motorists on traffic stops.

    The Arizona Department of Transportation has amended the state’s driver's license manual to included text instructing prospective motorists on traffic stops.

Powered by Frankly