How To Opt Out of 411.com – And Why You Should Do It
The 411.com site allows visitors to search for people in the US by name or phone number. Access to the resulting records – which includes address information and family details – can be purchased for as little as $1.
The 411.com site is one of the many sites owned by Whitepages, which has a vast database of contact information for US citizens. If you would prefer it if your private data wasn’t so readily available, read on and we’ll tell you how to opt out of 411.com and other people-search sites.
Why you should delete your data from 411.com
The 411.com site allows anyone connected to a server in the US to purchase a raft of personally identifiable information (PII) relating to US citizens.
This data can include details of:
- Names and aliases
- Landlines and cell phones
- Current and previous addresses
- Relatives and associates
- Property ownership
- Criminal offenses, arrests, and warrants
- Traffic violations
- Bankruptcies and foreclosures
- Liens and judgements
- Professional licenses
Although 411.com’s parent company claims to have a “belief in using Data for Good,” it’s unclear how this is manifested.
The site tempts users into purchasing other people’s information by offering tantalizing grayed-out details of phone numbers and addresses in search results. Trying to access “more details” leads to a page with four different payment plans.
The basic subscription allows 20 searches for people’s contact information every month. The most expensive allows 1,000 searches a month. This gives an indication as to the 411.com/ Whitepages customer base… and it’s not individuals looking for a lost relative or an old colleague.
The problem with people-search sites is that personally identifiable information – which we would normally only choose to share with a few people – becomes available to millions. It’s reasonable to assume that a proportion of these do not have a belief in using data for good.
Online and offline fraudsters can profit from publicly available information – for example, through identity theft or scams. Unscrupulous employers and landlords, meanwhile, can save money on having to obtain the proper – and more expensive – information from Consumer Reporting Agencies, such as Equifax and Experian, when assessing applicants for jobs or housing.
Worst of all, victims of abuse can be re-targeted. In 2021, a letter from US senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressed their concern about data brokers “publicizing the location and contact information of victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking.”
They further noted that “the availability of this data makes it difficult or impossible for victims to safely relocate with relatives,” and called on the Federal Trade Commission to make it easier for victims to remove their information from data broker sites.
How to opt out of 411.com
Because the 411.com site is fed by data from Whitepages, the removal process requires you to opt out of Whitepages rather than 411 specifically. This is good in that Whitepages is one of the largest people-search sites. However, it does require a little more effort than some.
Opt out of 411.com as follows:
- Go to whitepages.com, enter your name and location and press “Search”.
- Click “View Details” next to the relevant record.
- Copy the URL of the page.
- Go to whitepages.com/suppression-requests.
- Paste the URL into the empty field and click “Next”.
- Click “Remove Me” if the displayed record contains your personally identifiable information.
- Select a reason for wanting your data removed from the drop-down menu and click “Next”.
- Enter a mobile phone number into the empty field. Whitepages will use this to verify your identity. Click the check-box below that, then click “Call now to verify”.
- Answer your phone and – when prompted by the automated caller – enter the code that’s displayed on your screen.
- This completes the process. Check back after seven days to ensure that your listing has been removed. If it hasn’t, send a message to the Whitepages customer support team by opening the support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/requests/new page and choosing “I need to edit or remove a listing” from the drop-down menu.
How to opt out of other people-finder sites
Whitepages off-shoots, such as the 411.com website, are not the only people-search sites making your data available online. Use the guides below to remove your data from some of the others.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to contact and monitor people-search site records, there are services that will do it for you.
The best service to opt out of people-search sites
Let’s examine how the best data removal service works.
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How to opt out of 411.com – FAQs
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”How much does 411.com cost?” answer=”
You can purchase a five-day trial membership for $1, after which you’ll be charged $19.99 a month for a Whitepages Premium subscription. Other options include purchasing a single background report for $11.99 or 20 contact information searches for $5.99 a month.
The Premium Contact Info Plus plan provides access to complete contact info for 100 to 1,000 people. This costs between £22.99 and $199.99 a month. The Premium All-Access plan costs $32.99 a month and allows 200 contact information look-ups and access to 20 background reports.
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Where does 411.com get my information from?” answer=”The 411.com site gets its information from Whitepages. This, in turn, gets data from a mixture of publicly available information such as phone directories, social media sites, property deeds, and public federal and state governmental records. Other sources include information users have entered when using third-party sites. For example, when subscribing to something or entering a contest or sweepstake. ” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Is 411 info legit?” answer=”Sites like 411.com continually scrape the web for information. They’re not willing to commit to ensuring the collected data’s accuracy. This can make it particularly dangerous when used by third parties to make judgements about searched-for people. Whitepages says that it does ‘not warrant or guarantee that the results provided will be complete, accurate and up to date.'” /]]