BrokeBerry

Attack Computer Wiz

A Security & Technology Weblog

What would you think if I told you that there is a website that allows you to search anyone and find personal details about them? What if I told you that all I need to know is your name and the city you live in and I may be able to find your; address, phone number, cell phone number, spouses name, age, gender, race, marital status, education, hobbies, type of home, zodiac sign, whether or not you own your home, how long you have lived in your home, number of people living in your home, whether or not you have children, a photo of your home (yes a photo of your home!), and... Need I continue, or do I have your attention?

The website is spokeo.com who coins themselves as “Not your grandma’s phonebook”. This very easy to use search engine will locate just about anyone and allow you to learn a lot of information about them. Of course, it is not 100% accurate, but it is not too far off either!

Where do they get this information? I am sure a lot of it is dredged up from the internet and public record. I would imagine some of it is found on your social networking websites. But what about the data that is not common record or dredged up around the internet.

Let me use as an example my 90 year old grandmother who has never touched a computer. Why is her information there? Or my sister-in-law who told me about this site (I can see Mickey Mouse in your back yard). I know that she does not put her data on the internet.

Any conspiracy theorists want to tackle the US Census data?

To spokeo’s credit they do offer a way to remove yourself from their records and it is quite easy and effective. Below are the simple steps to remove yourself and your family members. Be warned, you can only make requests to remove two listings. I am not sure what the delay is before you can remove more.

  1. Go to Spokeo.com
  2. Enter the name of the person you want to search
  3. Locate the person and click on them so that you see the profile on the right side
  4. Now copy the URL from the address field of your web browser
  5. Next, in the lower right corner of the page you will see a link named “Privacy”
  6. Click on “Privacy” and paste the URL in the URL field, enter your valid email address and the captcha code
  7. Click “Remove Listing”
  8. Now go check your email and when you get the email confirmation follow the instructions to complete
Your results will be removed from the search usually within 24 hours, however I found that while I still showed up in the search, my data was removed within 20 minutes.

user Posted by John "Mike" Wright

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1 comments

  1. slapshot  

    At least one company is giving away a free way for law enforcement officers to remove themselves from Spokeo and many other databases all at once: ReputationDefender Blog: Spokeo and other people search databases

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