What is the best way to "purge" my information from the internet?
December 17, 2013 9:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in what people have done to find and then delete their personal information (address, especially) from online directories. I've deleted my info from WhitePages and Spokeo, but I'm wondering what other sites I should look at or if there's a master directory of some sort out there. Googling doesn't turn up much, but I know my information could still be out there. Thank you.
posted by madonna of the unloved to Technology (5 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Unless you're going to get intense about it (like, breaking into servers like a movie hacker and what not) this pretty much covers what it is you can do.


Completely deleting yourself from the internet would probably involve getting rid of your MeFi account though - so think it through, big brother wouldn't lik- I mean, we'd miss you!
posted by johnpoe50 at 10:23 PM on December 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: In my experience, this isn't something you do once. It's something you constantly have to do, like trying to beat back the tide with a broom. Data brokers pull personal info from legal sources (property records, marriage certificates, store catalog mailing lists, store loyalty cards, etc). You can get yourself pulled from their records, but due to lax privacy laws, that doesn't seem to stop you from getting added the next time they pull in more records or add a new data source. Anyway, here are some good resources:


List of 255 Data Brokers

Account Killer


Catalog Choice
posted by bluecore at 10:53 PM on December 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

Also: DeleteMe. A paid service that attempts to search out and delete your info on your behalf. Have not used it so this is not a personal endorsement.
posted by bluecore at 11:05 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

For future reference... for grocery store cards, etc. -- ask if you can have one without your name or information on it. When these became all the rage in my area, I refused to sign up and clerks often felt bad for me having to pay full price and just gave me one with Customer Customer filled in with no address. It does not hurt to ask.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 8:01 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

A bit related, JustDelete.me gives you direct links to delete your accounts from web services.

Good luck!
posted by tenpointwo at 2:20 PM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

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