If you conduct a search of my name to see what someone could learn about you, some of the top results will point you to pages designed to be a ‘people search engine’ and the information displayed may include previous addresses and phone numbers. You may be surprised to discover that other sites go a level deeper, linking you to schools attended, family members… even birth, marriage and court records.

While the sites are legally able to obtain and post this public information, it can be used by thieves trying to compromise your identity. To avoid this, you have the right to request your information be removed, but I found that the sites do not make it obvious how to go about it.

Here’s how you can remove your information from some of the most popular sites:

On Spokeo.com, the link to opt out is on the Privacy Policy page. To complete your request, you will need the URL of the profile you wish to remove and your email address (for confirmation only.)

The process to remove your information from LookUpAnyone.com is slightly more in-depth, as described in its FAQ section on the Customer Service page. For each request, the individual is required to provide proof of identity in the form of a driver’s license or other state-issued ID. According to the site, “If you are faxing a copy of your driver's license, we require that you cross out the photo and the driver's license number. We only need to see the name, address and date of birth.” LookUpAnyone will not process an opt out request any other way, faxing a copy of your license as required and will get your information removed.

According to the FAQ page on MyLife.com, a public page cannot be deleted. Try emailing their customer service with the URLs attached to your identity, and you may receive a response and/or they will delete your information from the site.

Lastly, PeekYou.com has a link to its Opt Out form in its Privacy Policy. To complete the request, you will need the “Unique ID” for your profile page… this is the numerical portion of the URL, as shown in this example: http://www.peekyou.com/firstname_lastname/123456789. You also need to provide your email for confirmation purposes.

Though it can be time consuming to comb through each of the people search engines for your personal information, it’s certainly much less of a headache than recovering from identity theft!