Featured Data Broker – Whitepages: Opt-Out and Learn More

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Whitepages is a data broker site that posts your personal information online.  Use this guide to complete an Whitepages opt-out and remove your information, or use DeleteMe to opt-out of all major data brokers for you.

DeleteMe Whitepages Review

Whitepages collects and posts all kinds of personal information publicly online.  Opting-out of Whitepages requires you to fill out an opt-out form and verify your request over the phone.  Your listing should be removed within 24 hours.

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What is Whitepages?

Whitepages is one of the biggest online data broker sites. Whitepages claims to be visited by 30 million people every month, with 2 million searches performed daily. They pose as a useful resource for people trying to get in touch with friends or relatives, but in reality they just publicize your personal information, leaving you vulnerable to stalking, scams and identity theft.

They also offer a reverse phone number/address lookup service, which they claim is to help people prevent spam. Instead, it is just another way for people to find your personal information. Whitepages even markets themselves as background check service for employers, or fraud prevention for big companies. This poses a wider range of privacy implications, as it’s unclear which companies that their data is shared with.

Whitepages even shares its information with other data broker sites, including 411.com, Address.com, Anywho.com, DexKnows.com, WhoWhere.com, and YellowPages.com. Removing your information from Whitepages can help protect you from being found on these sites as well.

Whitepages Premium

It is also important to note that Whitepages has ‘Premium’ listings, in addition to the standard, non-premium listings. Typically, the ‘Premium’ listings contain more personal information than the ‘free’ or ‘standard’ listings, and require payment, usually a fee of $9.99. Removing yourself from Whitepages will not remove you from Whitepages Premium, so we have included opt-out instructions for both in this post. While the process for opting-out of Whitepages Premium does not require you to verify your identity over the phone, it might take longer to process.

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What kind of information do they collect?

Whitepages usually has the names, addresses, phone numbers, and age of each listed individual. Access to this kind of information could make it easy for somebody to steal your identity, phish your credit card information, or even stalk you.  Furthermore, because your relatives’ names are listed, they are also at risk.

When these kinds of websites create a listing for you, it makes it easy for your personal information to appear in Google searches.  This means that people looking to take advantage of you can find your information from just a quick search. This is what you might find if you were to google your name:

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Google results like this are exactly what scammers are seeking when they are looking to steal someone’s identity. 

How do they find this information?

Whitepages gets these details by aggregating publicly available information, and making it easier to find. This information is usually made public by phone companies, social media, surveys or questionnaires, public records, and marketing companies. Whitepages puts it all in one, easy-to-find place. Unfortunately, this is all perfectly legal – and can be very dangerous.

Whitepages Opt Out: Step-by-Step

1. Search for your information on whitepages.com by entering your first name, last name, city, and state.  Click the magnifying glass to search.

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2. Next you will find the results page.  Find your listing and click “View Details”, and you’ll be taken to your listing with your personal information.

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3. Copy the url of your page.

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4. Paste it in the Whitepages opt out page, https://www.whitepages.com/suppression_requests.  Click the “Opt-out” button on this page.

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5. The next page will ask you to confirm that this is your listing.  Click the “Remove me” button on this page.

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6. They will then ask you why you want to opt out of Whitepages.  Choose “I just like to keep my information private”.  Click ‘Submit’.

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7. Next, you will need to verify your identity with a phone call.  Type in your phone number, and they will give you a verification code to type on the next page.  Make sure you check the little box underneath. Click “Call now to verify”.

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8. Finally, you’ll receive a robo-call asking for the verification code that pops up on the next screen.  When prompted, dial the verification code.  The robot will tell you that your opt-out request was accepted, and may take up to 24 hours for your profile to be removed from Whitepages.

Whitepages Premium Opt Out: Step-by-Step

1. Go to https://premium.whitepages.com/ and search for your listing.

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2. Find your result. Right click on “Details” and click “Copy Link Address”.

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3. Go to their “Submit a Request” page.  For the issue, select “I need to edit or remove a listing”.  Enter your email address (we recommend using a masked email from Blur) and a subject.

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4. Enter a description. Then, Paste the url in the ‘Listing URL’ field. Enter your name in the ‘Listing Name’ field.

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5. Put other information in the appropriate fields as it appears on your listing. Click ‘Submit’.

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6. Wait for a verification email. It could take around 48 hours for your listing to be removed.

Use DeleteMe to Opt Out of All Major Data Brokers

As you can see, Whitepages tries to make it difficult to remove your information, and doing this does not block you from Whitepages Premium or the many other data brokers out there.  Also, removing yourself from Whitepages once may not keep your personal information safe forever; if may resurface as they continue to crawl the web and aggregate information.  It’s good to check every few months to make sure your listing hasn’t reappeared.

You can use Abine’s DIY opt-out guide and remove your listing from each site yourself, or save your valuable time and effort by having DeleteMe do it!  DeleteMe is our premium privacy service that does the tough work of removing your private information from the web.  Even better, we’ll keep monitoring for your information year-round, and send you a report every four months to keep you protected.  Stay in control of your privacy with DeleteMe!

About Abine

Abine, Inc. is The Online Privacy Company. Founded in 2009 by MIT engineers and financial experts, Abine’s mission is to provide easy-to-use online privacy tools and services to everybody who wants them.  Abine’s tools are built for consumers to help them control the personal information companies, third parties, and other people see about them online.

DeleteMe by Abine is a hands-free subscription service that removes personal information from public online databases, data brokers, and people search websites.

Blur by Abine is the only password manager and digital wallet that also blocks trackers, and helps users remain private online by providing ‘Masked’ information whenever companies are asking for personal information.

Abine’s solutions have been trusted by over 25 million people worldwide.

 

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