Remove your personal information from data brokers and online accounts for free using these two sites.
These two sites have links to most of the places to opt out of data brokers and several online services (banking, retail, credit cards, etc).
Several services will remove your personal information for a fee, which is a time saver, but you can do it yourself for free.
Opting out of these services isn't as convenient as a paid service. It takes some time, but it's much easier to opt out of data brokers now than it has been in previous years. If you opt out of a service or two every few days it's a pretty painless process. The online service sites aren't as easy and will take more time and effort. The information here applies to people whose data primarily resides with US data brokers.
If you're not aware of FamilyTreeNow (familytreenow dot com), you may want to start there. The opt out there is easy.
DeleteMe provides a full list of opt out links and directions from most data brokers, including how long it takes and the difficulty level (some data brokers don't have options for opting out). Some data brokers require an email address to opt out, using a temporary address or a service like mail.com or gmx.com are good options if a data broker won't accept temporary or disposable addresses. After all, you want to remove your data, not provide your email address if they didn't already have it. Some data brokers won't allow more than one opt out request from the same email address, some will accept multiple opt out requests from the same email address.
Simple Opt Out
Simple Opt Out has links to opt out of 60+ online services such as banking, retail, media, Netflix, credit cards and more.
A few links overlap some of the data brokers at DeleteMe. Here's the current list of services:
1stdibs • 23andMe • AAA • Adobe • Ancestry.com • Amazon.com • American Express • Apple • AT&T • Backcountry.com • Bank of America • BeenVerified • CapitalOne 360 • Carnival Cruises • Casper • CB2 • CenturyLink • Chase • Choice Hotels • Comcast Xfinity • Condé Nast • Costco • CoreLogic • Crate & Barrel • Facebook • Frontier Communications • Google • Guitar Center • HBO • Hearst • Home Depot • Hulu • Instant Checkmate • InterContinental Hotels • Lexis-Nexis • LG • LinkedIn • Marriott Hotels • Mastercard • Meredith/Time Inc. • MetLife • Microsoft • National Geographic • Netflix • NYTimes • OptOutPrescreen.com • PayPal • PeekYou • People Search Now • PictureFrames.com • Pinterest • Reddit • REI • Rockler • Roku • Roomba (iRobot) • Samsung • Saatchi Art • Seattle Times • Sleep Number • Spokeo • Sprint • Target • Taunton Press • T-Mobile • TruePeopleSearch • Tuft & Needle • Twitter • Verizon • Visa • Vizio • Wells Fargo • Whitepages.com • Wiliams-Sonoma • Woodcraft • Yahoo/Oath • Yelp • YouTube
Some other suggestions to limit personal data being collected and shared:
- Change or delete personal information from online accounts that don't require valid personal information
- Delete online accounts you're not using or don't want anymore
- Delete unnecessary content from from social media accounts
- Use alternative personal data to create accounts.
- Don't use gmail, Facebook or any other account that offers to log you in to a site with their credentials - use an email address and password to create accounts.
- Try an alternative to gmail. Protonmail (web, iOS, Android, 500MB storage), Tutanota (web, iOS, Android, 1GB storage) or Mailfence (web, SMTP/POP3, limited import, 500MB storage) all offer free plans that have more security and privacy than gmail.
- Use a privacy focused search engine that doesn't track you such as Startpage.com or DuckDuckGo.
There's no way to stop collection and monetization of personal data, but we can minimize the amount of personal data that gets collected and sold with these steps. Since data is collected from the same places time after time, it's good to check to see if your data has reappeared on data broker sites. My data reappeared twice over the last few years so I check on it now and then.
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