Have you ever wondered how much of your personal information is freely accessible on the web? If you have then you’re not alone.
It’s estimated 82% of people have tried to get rid of personal information.
Unfortunately, it can be a painstaking process and many people are unsuccessful in removing their personal information.
In short, you’re going to need to learn how to opt out of BeenVerified and the thousands of other data brokers in your area.
What is BeenVerified?
BeenVerified is one of many data brokers. That’s businesses which collect information on individuals and businesses.
If you haven’t opted out they will use bots to search the internet, looking for freely available information.
They then collate this into a file and can sell your personal information.
It can be used by marketers, allowing them to target you with products you’ll be interested in.
That’s not the only option, it can also be used by scammers to give them the information they need to scam you.
Alternatively, financial institutions and other establishments may use the data brokers to verify the information you’ve provided.
BeenVerified is very good at collecting data, they are likely to have most of the following in your file:
- Personal and business email addresses
- Contact numbers – landline and mobile
- Your home address
- Date and place of birth
- Details of all the social media sites you use and usernames of all the social media accounts you have
- A complete education history
- Your current employment and at least some of your past employers
- Family members and close contacts
- Any arrests/court appearances
- Information about your property, including its value and potentially the outstanding mortgage payments
That’s not a complete list but it’s enough to make you realize how much information BeenVerified can have on you and what could be done with this information.
BeenVerified has guidelines regarding how any personal information can be used.
However, they do not enforce these guidelines, meaning anyone could access your information and use it for what they want.
Why Remove Personal Information
You may simply not want your personal information on the web, for all to see.
Equally, having your personal information available means cybercriminals will find it easier to target you.
Social profiling involves collating all the data about you on the web and then using that to figure out your passwords.
If you’re using an easy password a hacker can be in and out of your accounts before you even notice.
You’ll have given them everything they need to successfully change details on your account or even remove your funds.
You should note that BeenVerified will have an impressive array of your information.
This is likely to include your phone number, address, date of birth, and even your email address.
Combine this with your full name and anyone with the right skillset could assume your identity or target you.
Of course, if you leave enough personal details online a cybercriminal won’t even need to hack your identity.
They can simply pretend to be you and take out credit in your name.
Cases of identity theft are increasing, it can cause you a lot of stress as you’ll be the one having to prove you didn’t borrow the funds.
Alongside this, your personal information can be used by stalkers.
If your address is online thieves can even target your home, when they know you’re not there!
In addition, your personal information can be used to help scammers target you.
The more information they know about you the easier it is for them to pretend to be a genuine institution.
For example, they can call you or email you, pretending to be your bank.
This will encourage you to log into your account via the link they provide.
Unfortunately, the link will be for a fake website which looks like the real thing. You’ll effectively be giving them your username and password.
The Problem With Trying To Remove It Yourself
The good news is that removing your personal data from a data broker, such as BeenVerified, is easy.
All you have to do is send them a request to opt-out.
BeenVerified must legally remove your data from their records.
This process usually takes 24 hours. Unfortunately, there are two issues with this approach:
1. There Are Hundreds of Data Brokers
Opting out is simple, you just need to tell the data broker to remove your data from their files.
However, there are hundreds, if not thousands of data brokers. To make sure your data is completely removed, you’re going to need to contact every broker.
It’s estimated this would take over 300 hours, that’s twelve-and-a-half days. You probably don’t have the time to do this.
2. The Data Broker Can Simply Relist Your Data
A further problem you’re likely to encounter is that data brokers will re-add your information to their files.
They may wait a month or two to do so and they technically shouldn’t.
That’s not usually enough to stop them, meaning all your hard work is either for nothing or has to be repeated every 2-3 months.
How To Opt Out Of BeenVerified The Easy Way
Removing data from BeenVerified involves the following steps:
- Go to the BeenVerified website and find the information under your name, referred to as a listing
- To the right of your listing you’ll see several options, including ‘proceed to opt out’. Click on this
- You’ll need to complete a captcha to prove you’re human. That includes giving BeenVerified your email address
- Wait a few moments and you’ll be emailed a link from BeenVerified
- Follow the link in the email to confirm your opt-out request
- You should get a confirmation and you can check the site to make sure your opt-out request has been accepted
- You should also get an email to confirm the process is completed
It’s worth noting that while your data will be removed from BeenVerified within 24 hours, it can take days or even weeks for the information to disappear from the web.
Using BeenVerified is free.
However, you’ll find the process is faster if you have a BeenVerified account. This will cost you $26.89 for just one month.
Of course, you’ll be giving BeenVerified more information and you’ll only be removing data from BeenVerified, not any other data broker.
As you can imagine, this process takes a few minutes.
It’s not an issue in itself but you’ll find it hard to do this for all the data brokers. Fortunately, you don’t have to.
There are several third-party data broker removal services which can handle the opting-out process for you.
One of the best currently available is Icogni.
Incogni: Everything You Need To Know
Oncogni is designed to submit opting out requests for you. It’s a dedicated personal information removal service.
The cost is minimal, subscribing to an Incogni account costs just $6.49 a month.
The subscription can be for as little as one month or you can leave it running indefinitely.
Incogni will help you to take back control of your data!
You may be wondering why you would use Incogni when you can opt-out yourself.
The answer is time. Incogni will contact all the data brokers on your behalf and request your data be removed.
All you have to do is create the account, they take care of everything else.
When you realize how much time you can save, the monthly cost suddenly seems very small.
Incogni doesn’t just send opt-out requests. They also re-send them.
Data brokers will often add personal information back into their files after your opting-out process has been completed. It’s a gray area of the law.
The only way to remove the data is to send in another opt-out request. Fortunately, Incogni does this automatically.
The app will scan the data brokers and, if your data is detected again, it will automatically send another opt-out request.
As long as you are subscribed to the Incogni service they will keep sending data opt-out requests when needed, helping to ensure your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
You’ll be able to access the Incogni dashboard at any time, using your username and password.
This will allow you to see how effective the opting-out process is.
The screen will show you the number of opting-out requests Incogni has sent, how many have been completed, how many are still in progress, and if any need further action.
This information is for reference only, Incogni will handle everything for you.
Best of all, they will start requesting data opt-outs within minutes of you registering with them.
To create your Incogni account you’ll need to visit their website and click on the ‘get started’ icon at the top of the page.
You’ll be prompted to input your email address and choose a password. Incogni will then send you an email which contains a link.
This needs to be clicked, allowing you to verify your email address.
After this has been done you can go to the Incogni dashboard by logging into your account.
It’s worth noting that Incogni costs $6.49 a month if you pay the annual fee of $77.88 in one go.
If you prefer to pay monthly the fee is $12.99 per month. It’s possible to pay by credit card or via PayPal.
Incogni is one of the cheapest and most effective data removal services currently available. You can cancel your monthly plan at any time by contacting customer support.
Email is the preferred option. It’s also possible to get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days of starting your plan.
However, any opting-out requests that haven’t been completed, but requested, will be finished by Incogni for you.
Incogni will need your personal data, specifically your full name, address, and date of birth.
They will use this to track down your data records and get them removed.
Occasionally they may need additional information to satisfy a data broker, they will keep the information needed to a minimum.
They also record your device information and monitor your progress on their website.
However, they are very good at looking after your data and won’t share it with anyone.
To complete the signing-up progress you need to finalize all four stages:
- Open an account and verify your email address
- Add the requested personal information
- Sign the authorisation, otherwise known as a limited power of attorney – it gives Incogni the right to contact data brokers on your behalf
- Select your subscription plan and pay
It’s worth noting that once you’ve completed the registration process Incogni will send a useful step-by-step guide to the entire process.
When looking at how to opt out of BeenVerified you can send them a request yourself.
However, this is only an effective approach if you only wish to target one data broker.
If, like most people, your aim is to remove your personal data from the web, you need to contact all the data brokers and keep doing so.
In my opinion, you’ll struggle to beat Incogni.
The service is excellent, they offer good customer support, and the price is very attractive.
Best of all, it works. They will remove your personal data and ensure it stays private, effectively keeping you and your loved ones safe.
All you have to do is sign up for the one-day trial today and try out the service for yourself.