Intelius is often used by employers and realtors looking to run background checks on potential workers or renters. However, the truth is that your profile can be viewed by anyone willing to pay the fee, and Intelius actually encourages this on its registration page, claiming its service can help you “discover SECRETS!”, “Learn neighbors’ pasts”, and “Gather location details”.
Needless to say, this is terrible from a privacy perspective. After all, the service essentially gives the entire world access to your full name, address, phone number, legal history (including mugshots), educational history, social media and dating profiles, vehicle ownership records, and even a list of relatives’ names.
The good news is that it’s possible to delete your record from Intelius’ database. The whole process only takes a few minutes, and makes it significantly more difficult to dox you.
How to delete your data from Intelius and similar sites
While removing your data from Intelius is a great start, there are dozens of people searching sites out there. Your personal details will likely still be available on Whitepages, PeekYou, and ZabaSearch. There is an easier alternative: just use Incogni.
Here’s how to delete your data from Intelius:
- Find a tool that can take care of the removal requests for you. We highly recommend Incogni, a tool created by Surfshark.
- Create an account and sign up for a subscription, you can choose from a monthly or annual plan.
- |ncogni will then send data removal requests to all of the biggest data brokers on the web.
- You can expect removals to begin within as little as a week, and Incogni will keep reaching out until each broker has complied.
- Incogni adds new data brokers to its list regularly, so you will be protected from those too.
What is Incogni?
Incogni is a new service from respected VPN provider Surfshark. It automatically sends takedown requests to an extensive list of US, UK, and Europe-based data brokers, and can even escalate complaints if they don’t reply or comply. These brokers often hide behind complicated legal terminology, so having a third-party with experience act on your behalf really simplifies things and ensures you can get on with your life rather than spending hours decoding jargon.
Best of all, after you set up Incogni, it takes care of itself. You can check back in to see the status of your takedown requests, but there’s nothing more for you to do; this service will continuously contact brokers to demand deletion of your data and check they haven’t reacquired it since the last request.
BEST PERSONAL DATA DELETION SOFTWARE:Incogni can quickly remove your profile from a huge range of databases, including those of people search sites like Intelius. This service even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try it completely risk-free.
How to delete your Intelius profile manually
Just looking to opt out of Intelius? No problem: follow these steps and your data should be removed within the next few days:
- Start by visiting Intelius’ data suppression page
- Let the site know if you’ve ever been a customer or not
- Make sure the Public Records Opt Out box is checked. If you’re a resident of California, check CCPA Deletion as well – this will prevent Intelius from selling your data and ensure the service has to let you know if it begins collecting it again
- Type your name and email address into the boxes at the bottom and click Continue
- Choose your profile from the list that appears and click the link in the confirmation email
Why you should take down your Intelius profile immediately
Even if you think you have nothing to hide, it’s a good idea to have Intelius delete any records it holds on you. Most people wouldn’t post their home address on a flier for everyone to see, and fewer still would be alright with someone else revealing this information without consent.
Yet that’s exactly what Intelius does. Yes, a lot of this information is publicly-available but collating it in one place, without any safeguards around who can access, it is simply irresponsible. At best, this massive dataset reveals more info than is necessary, and at worst, it’s a fantastic tool for anyone looking to steal your identity, out you as a felon, or harass you in the real world. Removing your information from such sites is a great step towards reducing your digital footprint.
Intelius data removal: Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my Intelius record have incorrect information?
Intelius scrapes data from a huge number of sources including public records, property deeds, and licensing boards, so if your profile contains incorrect information, it’s possible that there was a typo or some other error on the official documentation. Unfortunately, as Intelius can’t edit your record, there’s nothing you can do except delete the entire profile or manually call up the relevant agency to make sure that your data is correct.
Additionally, you may notice that your record is out of date. That’s because Intelius checks back periodically, rather than updating information as soon as it’s available. As a result, you might find that your new address isn’t listed, or that you’re recorded as unmarried despite a recent wedding. Unless you delete your record, this data will be added at some point in the future.
Is it legal for Intelius to collect and display my personal details?
Intelius simply collects data that is already available if you know where to look. As a result, despite being invasive and anti-privacy, it is completely legal. If you’re unhappy having your entire legal, financial, and social history visible to the world, simply read our guide to deleting your Intelius record.
How can I protect myself from online snooping?
There isn’t an easy way to completely prevent websites, social media platforms, or apps from tracking you or monitoring your activities. However, you can mitigate some of this by embracing privacy-friendly alternatives like DuckDuckGo, using a VPN, and making use of data-deletion tools like Incogni.
Of course, all of the software in the world won’t help if you don’t know the basics. We’ve put together beginner’s guides to online security, safe online shopping, and protecting yourself against phishing, which will give you a solid understanding of the ins and outs of cybersecurity without requiring you to pay anything or spend hours researching technical terminology.