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Your Name, Address, and Home Phone Number are All Part of the Public Record.

As Public Records Move Online, What Can You Do to Stay Private?
Here’s how public record information works.

State record laws generally allow anyone unfettered access to information like property records, convictions, and birth, marriage, and death certificates without your knowledge or authorization. 

In the past, anyone looking to get this information had to go to a government office and formally request it. Today, personal data is increasingly accessible on the internet, which means that anyone can learn a lot about you quickly.

Public record data laws haven’t caught up with modern technology.

At the federal level, public data protection laws were last updated in the 1960s. Most of your public record information is held by state departments whose data access regulations go back even further.

In many cases, the laws governing access to these records have not changed substantially since the 1930s. Most of these records are still in paper form.

Now, states are spending millions of dollars digitizing public record information from tax statements to court records.

More of your public record data is falling into the hands of data brokers.

The biggest beneficiary of public record digitization is often online data brokers. Even if you don’t place any value on your information appearing online, they do. Dozens of them trawl through public records to find more information to put up for sale.  

This information often includes your full name, phone number, marital status, occupation, and home address. Anyone can search for you online and buy your data to use as they see fit. 

This information is used to target you with advertisements and can aid criminals trying to steal your identity. 

Last year, over 14 million Americans fell victim to identity fraud. For these victims, the financial loss was over $16 billion. This year, due to increased online activity, as many as 1 in 4 Americans will be affected by identity theft.

5 steps to start removing your information from public records

Unfortunately, you can’t remove all of the information contained in public records. However, you can still protect yourself. Here are five steps to help you keep your address and contact details private.

  1. Get a PO box and a new phone number — this could be a google voice or skype number.
  2. Go to your county clerk and see what information containing your details they have on file.
  3. Where possible, formally change your details to your PO box address and new phone number.
  4. Find out where else your details are recorded and change them to your new details. Look for unemployment offices, public facilities like libraries, and other local authorities. 
  5. Search for your data on online data brokers like Whitepages, PeopleFinders, and Spokeo and request its removal.
Take back control of your public record information with DeleteMe 

The last step in the process (opting out of data brokers) is often the most tedious and complicated. DeleteMe makes it a lot easier and helps you take your information back from data brokers. 

DeleteMe’s team of privacy experts find and coordinate the removal of your personal information and continuously scan the web to keep your data offline.

Take back control of your public record information with DeleteMe

Submit Info

Submit your personal information for removal from search engines and data broker sites.

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DeleteMe experts find and remove your personal information. See sites covered by DeleteMe.

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Receive a detailed DeleteMe report in 7 days. Here’s an example.

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We remove your personal info regularly, all year long.

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