Remove Your Personal Information from the Internet

There are several companies and websites that make use of your personal information but they are required to allow you to opt out. Here is a list of the places and relevant links for you to find where your information is collected and opt out so that it cannot be used by these companies.

Data Brokers

The following links will let you opt out of the major marketing data brokers selling your information

  1. Acxiom
  2. Experian
  3. Oracle
  4. Lexis Nexis and 
  5. Epsilon.

Credit Data

Stop credit reporting agencies from sell your data (the source of junk mail offering “Pre-approved credit offers”) using Opt Out Prescreen:

optoutprescreen.com

Financial Data

Banks also share data about their customers. Choose the bank from the list below to opt out of having your data shared

  1. JP Morgan Chase
  2. Citi
  3. Wells Fargo, and 
  4. Bank of America.

Credit Card

Do a Google search of “[insert credit card company name here] opt out of sharing my information”

You will likely be brought to a page that tells you that you need to actually call them and request to “opt out of sharing my information”. This is inconvenient but most companies make the process relatively convenient. As two examples, see the info below for Capital One and Discover

Capital One – 1-888-817-2970 – click here

Discover Card – 1-800-225-5202 – webpage is here

You can take your name out of Caller ID databases. You should have an account on your carrier’s website. When you log in you will see there is a name listed next to your phone number. If you have more than one phone on the same account there will be a different name listed next to each number. If you change this name it will eventually be reflected in caller ID databases. You can test by calling a phone that does not have your number in its contacts.

Mailing Lists

You can opt out of some of these offers if you:

  • Visit DMAchoice.org to create an account with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and decide which mail you want to receive from DMA members. There’s a $2 processing fee, which will cover you for 10 years.
  • Request to be taken off non-DMA mailing and marketing lists, such as those run by RetailMeNot and Valpak.

No Call Lists

You can register for the National Do Not Call Registry – donotcall.gov – which is limited in its effect but still useful

As a backup to the Do Not Call Registry, you can also go to No Mo Robo – nomorobo.com –

Do Not Contact for Caretaker’s Registration – https://ims-dm.com/cgi/dncc.php

Remove your personal data (name, address, phone, birthday) from people-searching websites:

According to Inteltechniques.com: “The ‘MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK’ removals: Spokeo, Mylife, Radaris, Whitepages, Intelius, BeenVerified, Acxiom, Infotracer, Lexis Nexis, TruePeopleSearch”

Inteltechniques.com provides and exhaustive list of such websites and the urls for opting out of each of them – https://inteltechniques.com/workbook.html

You may choose to simply google your name and see which websites show up in your results with your personal information and focus on those.

Remove Google Street Views of Your Home

1 -Go to Google Streetview and look at your home. (note that the address has been blocked out with red for privacy)

2 – Click on the three dots (circled here in yellow) and then in the drop down choose “Report a Problem”

This brings you to a new page where you can adjust the photo to center the red and black square over your home

You choose from a list of options what you want to blur (in this case we chose “my home”)

And then you have to input a justification, such as “I am concerned for my privacy”

Don’t forgot two more issues, the first is that even after you have blurred the one image, you can move down the street one space and turn and see the same house, so you have to blur the house from a few different locations and angles

Second, don’t forget about Google Maps’ time machine feature.

See the little clock on the bottom left

When you click on it, you will see the same location from different times in the past. You will also have to blur them individually.

There are similar options for removing photos from Bing Maps, Mapillary.com, and https://kartaview.org/.

And that is it for now!

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