Recently, I found myself wanting to know a bit more about a new colleague at work’s professional background. So what did I do? What most of us are in the habit of doing when we want to know more about a person: I googled their name. Immediately, I found their LinkedIn profile with the information I was looking for as the top search result. But just after that, as a second search result, was their current home address, family members’ names, age range and more personal information from a “People Search Engine”. Although I hadn’t even had the chance to meet in person with that colleague, I knew a lot more than I would want them to know about myself.
If you’ve ever found yourself using the website instantcheckmate.com, you may have noticed the flashy status bars warning you about potentially shocking information awaiting for you as you search for a target. If you’re like me, you may especially remember the painfully long amount of time the site takes to “compile” your search results. Thankfully, removing yourself from the website doesn’t have to take long at all. In the second part in a series about removing yourself from people search engines, I will be going over how to remove yourself from InstantCheckmate.
The trick to skipping the excessively long query process is to go directly to the opt-out page at https://www.instantcheckmate.com/opt-out/.
From there, you can simply enter your name and location. If you’ve lived many different places, I suggest repeating the search with your previous locations. Similarly, if you’re like me and have a name which can be spelled in different ways, I suggest repeating the search with those possibilities.
Once you’ve found the profile which fits you most, click on “Remove This Record”. Should you have more than one profile that fits you, don’t worry- you can do this process more than once.
Should everything go smoothly, the automated email will be sent to your inbox immediately, which makes the total opt-out process length under 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, when trying to opt-out with temporary email providers such as Mailinator or Temp-Mail or with Outlook and ProtonMail accounts, I was unable to receive the opt-out email. I had to call Instant Checkmate directly via the number on their website, which added to the total effort necessary (a little over 8 minutes over 2 business days) to remove my personal information from their website. After giving the operator my name, current and previous addresses and ProtonMail email, I received an email the next day confirming:
- The name(s) associated with my profile
- Current and previous addresses
- An estimate of my age and date of birth
Whether by phone or via the website’s automated process, Instant Checkmate results were removed in under 12 hours in both cases I tested. What happens next? I suggest adding a Google alert by going to https://alerts.google.com and entering:
site:instantcheckmate.com “Ada Lovelace”
This way, should there be new Google search results for your name on Instant Checkmate, you will receive an email from Google letting you know. If you’ve already done this step for the previous blog post on removing yourself from Whitepages, your Alerts list should look similar to this one:
More info: https://www.instantcheckmate.com/opt-out/