People search sites can be really useful to help you find people you used to know but fell out of touch with, but unfortunately most of them are for-profit entities that have no real skin in the game when it comes to making sure the information they publish is positive or accurate. If you’ve found data about yourself on these sites and would rather not have it public, Safe Shepherd is a web service that can handle the job for you.
Sites like Spokeo and BeenVerified all rely on public databases and records when they charge you for the “background checks” or other detailed personal information they advertise. In some cases, the information is woefully out of date, in other cases it’s just flat-out wrong, and in some cases it might be too close for comfort. If any of those scenarios make you a little uncomfortable, Safe Shepherd promises to do the legwork required to remove your personal information from those sites.
Most people search services offer individuals some method to opt out, but it often requires lengthy letter writing, phone calls, follow-up and a lot of time. The folks at Safe Shepherd do that legwork for you, write the letters on your behalf, follow up for you, and make sure your entries come down. Unlike other “reputation services” that essentially use search optimisation tricks to trick engines into de-listing your information, these guys actually talk to the people publishing the data.
Safe Sherpherd lets you get started for free, and will do the initial search, alert you to the results and scrub out most basic information completely for free. If you want monitoring to make sure your data doesn’t come back, want on-demand privacy checks or need someone to tackle the particularly troublesome search services, you may want to sign up for their paid plans, running from $US14 per month to $US65 per year. What do you think? Are services like this effective? Have you tried one? Share your thoughts in the comments below.