Spokeo is Giving Out Your Personal Information

spokeo Spokeo is Giving Out Your Personal InformationOur friends at Cool Mom Tech just brought something really important (and quite scary!) to our attention. You all know that I’m all over the internet. It’s my job after all! Plus, with all the video reviews I do for you guys, my face is also plastered all over the internet. It’s what I signed up for when I started Baby Gizmo. Kind of.

That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to keep some privacy especially for my family. The internet can be a very scary place with all the personal information that is floating around, all the social media sites and people search sites. Sure, it’s fun to look up an old friend, but some sites take it to a stalker level. They give out all kinds of personal information such as physical addresses, cell phones, emails, names of your relatives and much, much more. They even offer a Google map to your front door!

Spokeo is one of these scary sites. I almost guarantee that YOU are on it…AND all your personal information that every Spokeo member who pays a small fee has access to. Scary.

Believe me, you don’t want all this information on Spokeo. It’s just too scary. Good thing that you can remove your personal information from Spokeo immediately. Cool Mom Tech did all the work of finding out how to remove your listing and laying it all out for us! They clearly have our backs! (Thanks Cool Mom Tech!)

1. Head over to Spokeo.com and search your name.  (Search maiden names, nicknames, and spouse names too.)

2. Results will come up based on state, so choose the one in which you currently live. Then pick based on your street.

3. Copy the url of the page that has your specific info, like street and city, and yes, even a Google Earth photo of your residence (shown at top). A little disconcerting, right?

4. Click on privacy at the very bottom of the page in grey, and scroll down to “Removing Your Listing from Spokeo.”

5. Paste the url, then add your current email address in the space, and complete the CAPCHA.

6. Then check your email (or spam/junk if you don’t see it immediately) which will include a link for you to click to confirm the removal of your information.

That’s it.

Keep in mind, you need to grab the URL from each of your specific locations, so if you have more than one residence on the website, you’ll need to do each of them individually. And we’re finding that it’s limiting us to only 5 at a time–but hopefully not for good. Some of us have a lot of past residences on there that need to come out.

Thanks again to Cool Mom Tech for bringing this to our attention. They are awesome!

 

Comments

  1. Lauren V. says

    The only reason Spokeo is bad is because it is user-friendly and brings all of this information to one place. It is all available elsewhere on the internet if you know how to find it. This is all public information, and for it to show up here, it is located somewhere else on the internet. You can find anything about people and their personal property by searching for it. Searching assessor’s websites and public deeds will even tell you exactly how much someone pays in taxes, how much they bought their house for, how many mortgages and home equity loans they have… in other words, how far into debt a person is! It is incredible, but true, and important to know it’s out there legally, whether you remove your listing from this public website or not.

  2. Jessica Barnhart says

    wow! that’s scary, i went to spokeo.com and it had my address, phone number, financial information, and more. very scary! thanks for letting us know about this

  3. Brooke Upchurch says

    Thank you so much for the information! It had every single address I have ever lived on!!! Forwarding to friends and family members now!!!

  4. Benjamin Spaulding says

    I’m a tech dad and I work in the technology arena. I’m also an information security nut (my wife says I’m paranoid), so I both dread and enjoy reading about sites like Spokeo…
    They may remove the information from their servers, but it also validates their data and it allows them to tie the multiple entries into a better cohesive picture of you. In my opinion, this is scarier. This is similar to clicking links in spam emails or hitting “unsubscribe” from services you never signed up for. Yes, it will remove you from that one service, but it confirms you are valid and they will re-sell your info with a higher value (since you’ve confirmed you open/view their content, you are a more valuable target).
    Information is out there and can’t be reined in. Everything from social media, open records from government agencies, phone listings (formerly phone books), Real Estate data, etc. is mostly public access. Spokeo (and others) are simply aggregating this data into a single source. Even if these specific companies are US based, not all are and US laws don’t apply on the internet. Because of that you have to let go of the idea that you can control this data or hold others accountable for it.
    At the bottom of this post, I’ll add some links with more information and directions on how to remove your info from these searches.
    Instead of removing information, I recommend either leaving it alone, or in the case of an internet persona, attempt to limit what is out there. First step for you and other mommy bloggers would be to find out what is out there. Take a day to let it set in (have some wine), then be pro-active about managing future data information. What’s out there, is out there, be OK with it. It’s done.
    These two articles cover many of the info sites like Spokeo:
    http://www.bgr.com/2011/08/02/how-to-remove-your-private-info-from-all-background-check-sites/
    http://gizmodo.com/5827962/how-to-remove-your-personal-information-from-background-check-websites

  5. Stephanie says

    This is incredibly creepy, particularly the google earth photo. Thank you so much for posting this.

  6. Holly Rudd says

    Thanks for letting us know this. I went in & removed my info. ( use birth name & married name ) Also I found information on my parent’s who are deceased.
    Sent emails to friends & posted on FB . I’m sure there are other sites that gather this info but spokeo.com makes it very easy to access a lot of information for a few dollars.

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