Public records searches are becoming more and more available on the internet. Most commonly, these public records searches scan a variety of record databases, then display them to paying customers, essentially a metasearch of publicly available records. However, if you’re particularly privacy-minded, this could be more of a concern than a blessing for you. Can you erase those public records? Here’s what you need to know about removing your information from online public records sources.
1. Public Information on Your Social Media Profiles
This is the easiest type of public record to erase. While it’s true that you can’t necessarily erase everything you’ve posted online, as many things end up being catalogued forever by internet historians, you can erase a lot of your information just by deleting your social media profiles or setting them to private.
While deleting your social media profiles altogether is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re as private as possible, you don’t necessarily need to do this if you don’t want to. Setting your social media accounts to “private,” where no one can see the information on them unless you approve them as a friend, can help you scrub some information from the public internet. Choosing private social media accounts can let you interact with your friends and family while minimizing data leakage to the internet at large.
2. Public Information From Email Accounts
Some information can come from email accounts, especially email accounts you no longer use. Many public search engines can match your activity between email addresses, including defunct email addresses, which can help someone get a fuller picture of you. However, it’s possible to remove this link to your past history by simply deleting these old email accounts.
As a matter of fact, it may be helpful to use these public record search engines, like PeopleFinders, to find your past email addresses so you can clean up your online history. All you have to do is perform a people search on yourself. You might be able to find email addresses you don’t even remember, which can help you clean up your public records a bit.
3. Public Information From Official Records
When it comes to information from official records, there are only a few options available. Your first option is to completely remove that information from the records. In some states, you may be able to request that they seal your information, making it inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t have specific allowance, but this is typically only done in extreme cases where you have a reason to be worried about people getting access to your information.
The other option is to request that each metasearch site individually remove your information from access on the site. This can be complicated and difficult; some sites may require that you send them an email, while others just require you to fill out a form on the website itself. You also may need to do this regularly so you can stay on top of record updates. There are services that will do this automatically for you as well so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Erasing public records is not an easy thing to do, and it can be surprisingly difficult to make sure your public records aren’t accessible. However, from simply moving your social media profiles to private to investing in a service that will keep your public records from appearing or reappearing online, you can erase your public records in a variety of ways. Depending on your specific needs, you can do as much as you need to ensure that you’re staying safe and keeping your information as public or private as necessary.
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