Removing Yourself From Background Check Websites
A wide range of background check websites are available online. While many of the services offer inaccurate or incomplete information, consumers who are worried about privacy for any reason will want to remove the information from the website. Different websites will vary in specific requirements to remove personal information from the site, but understanding the most common methods will make it easier to protect personal information.
While many background check websites will have complicated processes for removing personal information, others require nothing more than contacting the company and opting out of the service. Opting out will differ slightly between companies, but usually it requires sending an email or calling the phone number to obtain help.
When calling the phone number, consumers should always wait until a representative comes on the line. Depending on the company, this might take a little time and navigation through various options.
After the representative gets on the phone, ask to opt out of the background check website. In most cases, the representative will ask for a name and some identification information. Identification information might include a previous address, a previously owned vehicle or a similar question that helps verify that the individual is able to make the request.
In most cases, this will result in removing the name and personal information from the website’s data base. While opting out seems simple, some companies will have more complicated measures in place to remove information from a database.
Filling Out Paperwork
Removing information from a background check website sometimes requires filling out forms or paperwork provided on the company website. The information required on the form will vary, but in most cases it will need some identification details and a formal request to opt out of the website.
The form or paperwork is usually sent to a provided address after completely filling out the information in blue or black ink. Depending on the company and the processing times to remove individuals from the listing, consumers can expect to see the records deleted within a four to six week time frame.
When the six weeks pass, consumers can look for their information on the website to determine if it is removed. If not, consumers should contact the company to ensure that the request is in process and obtain an estimate before the information is removed. In some cases, the travel time in the mail accounts for a slightly longer wait.
Faxed-In Proof of Identity
In some situations, the company requires faxing in proof of identity before the request to opt out of the website is observed. Proof of identity is usually a state issued photo ID or a driver’s license, though some websites will allow consumers to send in a notarized letter a proof of identity as well.
When sending in the photo ID, the websites allow consumers to block out the picture and driver’s license number. The goal of the faxed in document is identity verification to ensure the request is legitimate and provided by the individual listed in the database.
As with mailed requests, faxed-in proof of identity will require a processing time of four to six weeks before the information is removed from the website. Consumers should always look for the most updated fax numbers on websites since the numbers can change over time.
Updated Document Warning
Consumers should note that the websites will remove personal information upon the appropriate request. The problem that sometimes arises is that new documents, such as a divorce or marriage document, might end up on the website after the request. The website will only remove information that is already on the site. As a result, new information might be inputted later.
Consumers who want to ensure that the website does not put new information online should talk to a representative and make a formal request to avoid putting updated data online later. In some situations, it might be necessary to go through the process of opting out of the website in the future. This will vary by website and the guidelines set up by the company.
Background check websites make use of public records information so that anyone is able to access the data for a fee. While it might not seem harmful, those who want to maintain anonymity and privacy will need to opt out of the website to clear the data from the online resources.