7.01.2020

Philippines Expat Guide: Delete Yourself From The Internet

Delete Yourself From The Internet

 


This article is specific to US expats in the Philippines.

Civil defamation is a real problem with some Internet data brokers. But erasing yourself from the Internet is also a matter of protecting your credit, your identity and your personal security.

In the Credit and Identity Protection Guide we addressed how to request a security freeze on your credit to prevent data brokers from having access to your personal information. 

Whether or not you decide to go with security freezes, you might want to take some steps to clean up what is already out on the web.

Below you will find opt out information for fifteen of the major people data websites. I found that these sites are responsible for greater than 95% of all of the search results that I receive when I search for variations of my name together with other personal details.  

By opting out of these sites I achieved almost total erasure of myself from search results. 

To do the same for yourself, go to the opt out URL and follow the instructions from the site:

Make sure you save the URL of the page before you ask them to delete the page.

Before you do this you might want to create an ad hoc email address just for this i.e. delete.john.doe@gmail.com. You should keep it for future iterations.

https://www.smartbackgroundchecks.com/optout

  • You will get a response from support@smartbackgroundchecks.zendesk.com.
  • If you have any issues you can respond to that address and they will quickly sort it out. 

https://www.beenverified.com/f/optout/search 

  • support@beenverified.com

https://www.peoplelooker.com/f/optout/search

  • People looker uses the same database as beenverified.
  • support@peoplelooker.com

https://www.peoplesmart.com/help

  • If you click "manage your listing" on the right it also redirects to beenverified opt out.
  • support@peoplesmart.com

https://www.truthfinder.com/opt-out

https://clustrmaps.com/bl/opt-out

https://checkpeople.com/do-not-sell-info

https://www.spokeo.com/optout

  • If you have trouble you can send them an email (privacy@spokeo.com) with details and they will respond and delete the information. 

https://www.truepeoplesearch.com/removal

https://www.checkthem.com/optout

  • support@checkthem.com

https://www.truthfinder.com/opt-out

  • Truthfinder seems to be associated with instantcheckmate and fastpeoplesearch, as they all have the same opt out interface.

https://www.instantcheckmate.com/opt-out/

  • privacy@instantcheckmate.com
  • support@instantcheckmate.com

https://www.fastpeoplesearch.com/removal

https://rehold.com

  • Follow your search engine result to the rehold.com page containing the address showing you as a resident.
  • On the right side you will see a link "information control." Click it. 
  • Click "remove" next to the record you wish to remove. The text over those names will be struck out.
  • Enter your name and email. DO NOT enter your actual current phone or address.You do not owe them that information.
  • Solve the captcha.
  • Click apply.
  • You will be sent a confirmation email with a link you need to follow.
  • After you do that it takes up to 48 hours to take effect.
  • This will be one of the pages where you only delete the snippet with your information from search results, as the page will not be entirely deleted.
 
It should be relatively easy to get good results from most of the sites above. 
 
Then there is Mylife.com
  • Mylife.com does not have an opt out page.
  • You will need to email your removal request to privacy@mylife.com and removalrequests@mylife.com
  • DO NOT give them information they do not have.
  • Do not curse.
  • Be professional.
  • Be firm with your request.
  • Include the link to your profile page.
  • You may get different responses from different personnel at Mylife.com. Simply reiterate your demand. 
  • State something along the line that:
    • This page contains false, inaccurate, defaming material about myself: [url of page with your information]
    • Please remove the page immediately. 
 

Save the urls of every page with your info and once that info is removed go to the google link removal tool
 
You will need an account with google for this procedure.
 
The link removal tool will allow you to delete the page from google search.

Do not do this before a site has actually removed the page.
 
You will be required to give an choice as to why you want the search result removed i.e. the page changed or it is gone completely.

If you attempt to remove a link to a page that you believe is gone and it fails, then you can try to remove the search snippet due to the page only changing. For this you must provide a word that is no longer on the page. You can choose your first or last name or a city you lived in. If it fails, then you might try again.
 
To remove your search results from Bing you can use the Bing removal tool. Sign into the tool with your google credentials. The procedure is much the same as with the google tool.
 
Duckduckgo and Yahoo both use the Bing removal tool.
 
When you search your name on data broker sites you will get a list of people in the search results. These search results pages will also be in returned in search engine results. To change the search snippet in the search engine results to reflect your information no longer being there you must run those links through the link removal tools and select page changed listing a word from the old search result pages that is no longer shown (your first/last name, city etc).
 
When you complete the tasks above you should find that most search results yield almost nothing about you. You may need to repeat the process to clean up bits and pieces of data.
 
In 2017 litigation against the credit bureaus resulted in civil judgments and and tax liens to no longer be placed on our credit files. Even so, some of the data brokers will use that sometimes flimsy data to paint us as ax murderers in order to bait people into purchasing our background information. You do not have to tolerate this and you should contact any company doing this to you and demand for them to delete your webpage.
 
To be sure that you don't pop back up on the web you will need to be proactive and run a search however often as you are comfortable with depending upon how obsessive compulsive you are. 



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