We hear from tons of people who have questions on how to safely and quickly secure a Spokeo opt out.
Don’t worry, understanding how to opt out of Spokeo isn’t that difficult.
However, you definitely want to be sure you do it right.
First we’ll go over how Spokeo got your information in the first place. It’s helpful to know so you can protect your online presence more effectively.
Then, we’ll cover the opt out procedure in full detail.
What is Spokeo?
Spokeo is an online database that aggregates information about people from multiple sources elsewhere on the web so users can easily find this sort of data in one place.
The site uses web crawlers to find and aggregate the information you find on the site. No personal information on Spokeo is original research, so if it’s on Spokeo that means it is also somewhere else.
Why is it an issue?
While search results from Spokeo may feel troublesome for some more than others, there’s no denying that your search results matter. No matter what your profession, You are being looked up online by others. From business partners to potential customers to dates and coworkers – someone is googling your name!
This means if your name, phone number, or address is floating around online there’s a good chance it will be found.
With sites like Spokeo in the mix, it only gets easier for someone to come across this information. This is one of the most common reasons why people want to go through the Spokeo opt out procedure.
Aside from security concerns, there’s another reason to take Spokeo listings seriously. By diluting your online footprint with information that doesn’t benefit a professional searcher you can hurt your online reputation significantly.
The data supports how important your online reputation is – especially when it comes to your professional life. Nearly half (42%) of the online U.S. adults that looked somebody up in a search engine, did so before deciding to do business with them (2012 BrandYourself/Harris Interactive study). This makes understanding how to opt out of Spokeo even more important.
This can have a staggering impact on your career – for better or for worse. So instead of greeting a potential colleague, employee or employer with your birthday and home phone number, make sure that they see relevant information about you.
How to opt out of Spokeo
When it comes to the information available about individuals online, everyone has different comfort levels with what’s out there.
Although Spokeo publishes aggregate data that is publicly available about people online, it can be somewhat disturbing to see this all in one place. Because of that, the site allows individuals to request data removal (aka an opt out) from the site.
The full Spokeo opt out procedure
If you prefer to keep the kind of information mentioned above private, you’re in luck. While removing the information from Spokeo does not mean that other sites will also remove this information, it’s a start. Follow the steps below to remove your private information from Spokeo.
- Create an email address that doesn’t include your name or any personal information. You will receive a confirmation at the end of the process and need to click the included link to verify your removal request. Consider creating a gmail, gmx or guerilla mail account to use in conjunction with the removal process. Remember, guerrilla mail accounts are temporary, so respond to the confirmation email immediately.
- Visit spokeo.com and search for your name. Make sure to search for variations of your name including nicknames, maiden names, professional names and even spouse names.
- Click on the results that relate to you. Initially Spokeo will filter search results for your name by state. Start the process by selecting the state where you currently live, and choose your street.
- Once you’ve clicked through this result and selected your current address, copy the URL page that shows all of the information associated with this person/location.
- From here, scroll to the very bottom of the page and choose “Privacy”. Again, skip down to the bottom of the page and select the “Opt Out” form.
- Once you’ve found the Opt Out form, paste your listing’s profile URL into the appropriate text box, then type your new email address (which you don’t normally use, and doesn’t share any information about you) in the other textbox. Don’t forget to check and fill out the CAPTCHA box. When you finish, click, “Remove this listing” at the bottom of the page.
- If everything worked, when you check your inbox, you should find a confirmation email from Spokeo – make sure to check your Spam folder if you don’t see it in your primary inbox.
- Open that email, click the link and confirm that you want to remove this listing.
- Repeat as needed for listings of other places you’ve lived. Keep in mind that you will be limited to 5 removals at a time.
The next step
After going through the Spokeo opt out process, you still have more work to do. While it’s great that this listing will no longer appear on Spokeo, most of it is still publicly available elsewhere, probably not all in the same place.
Make sure that you scan search results for your name on Google (or another search engine) for more private information. Once you’ve gathered a list of potential culprits, follow their respective rules for removal.
In addition to dealing with these other sites, know that your information could still appear on Spokeo in the future. While Spokeo will not simply re-post what you’ve removed, they periodically pull information, so if there is new information associated with your name, there is a good chance that this will appear on their site down the road.
How to ensure maximum effectiveness when opting out of Spokeo
While removing your listings from Spokeo and comparable databases is one way to keep private information – well – private, it’s not guaranteed to last forever (or at all – depending on the site removal policies).
Luckily, there is an alternative solution to play defense and keep people from seeing it when they search your name online.
Use our 3-step process
At BrandYourself, we make it our business to monitor, improve and protect your online presence. Time and time again we’ve seen our clients develop impressive online reputations by simply following our 3-Step process below. Following this will make sure you stay protected after the Spokeo opt out procedure.
The first step is building a foundation of high-quality web properties. These are most commonly social media properties and websites.
The next step is optimizing these to rank for your name in search engines and establishing further relevancy so personal information in the future doesn’t have a chance to be viewed by unwanted eyes.
Lastly, there is some simple maintenance that you can do to make sure everything stays at cruising altitude. You can do this yourself, or utilize our tools and services to make things even easier.
When it comes to dealing with private information and opting out of sites like Spokeo, we’ve found this strategy to work best. Through this 3-Step Process, the sites that you control gain authority and eventually overwhelm and suppress those search results that show your private information.
This gives you another strong layer of security for protecting your personal information. Better safe than sorry right?
The wrap up
When dealing with exposed information on sites like Spokeo, just opting out isn’t enough. You need to create a presence to replace and overwhelm the information that you can’t control and don’t want others to see.
If you want to use our tools and services to help guarantee the Spokeo opt out procedure goes smoothly, visit the pages below:
BrandYourself’s Free DIY Product: Walks you through the process of monitoring and improving your online presence yourself with a number of features to help you understand how you look now and what steps you should take to improve. (Our standard tool is free, and the premium version costs $99 per year for added features and access).
BrandYourself’s Managed Services: Put you together with a team of BrandYourself-certified Reputation Specialists who handle the work for you. This includes extracting your personal brand (what you want people to know about you), building high-quality websites and profiles, and consistently publishing well-branded content on your behalf. (Managed services start at $399 per month).