Whether you’re conducting a background check for a client or you’re Jane or John Doe and are concerned about protecting your personal data, there are hundreds of Internet sites that collect public records data and offer them to anyone for free or a small fee.
Hg’s Cyber Tip of the Week explores Cubib, a free public records data site that provides an individual’s registration records for voting, property, and incorporation, salary data, vehicle purchases, campaign contributions … and, yes, whether you ever visited the White House.
In the era of big companies selling off personal data or, worse, data breaches where millions of customers’ data is stolen, it’s a good idea to know what you can and cannot do when using online public record aggregates. Cubib informs its customers that the search index cannot be used to stalk someone or steal an individual’s identity but can be used to locate a lost loved one or snoop on a neighbor. Additionally, per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it is illegal to use Cubib for such things as employment or tenant screenings, credit checks, or insurance eligibility.
To remove your name and personal data from Cubib’s site, type your name into the search fields and locate yourself in the list. If you’ve only lived in one state your whole life, select your state and your search will be narrowed. Unfortunately, if you’ve lived in several states, it’s best to select “All States.” However, since there is no field for a middle name, you may have to scroll through numerous people with the same first and last name as you. It turns out there are 23 Cynthia Hetheringtons!
Once you’ve found yourself, click on your name in red and your record will pop up. On the upper right hand corner you will find the words “Opt Out.” Click on it and you will be redirected to Cubib’s form. Fill out the information and be sure to include a working email address (we recommend setting up an email account that you use solely for removing your public data from online services), so Cubib can contact you, if staff have any questions.
Like what you’re reading? Become an Hg member and learn how to maximize your online investigations with shortcuts, tips, tricks, better investigative tools, and advanced research techniques for all skill levels in our Data2Know newsletter, published eight times a year. As an added benefit, subscribers get access to our Opt Out Index containing over 200 active links to assist you in getting your private data off the Internet. From Abika to ZoomInfo, we’ve got you covered!