You may not know it, but your personallly identifiable data is likely available for free or for purchase right now. Plenty of groups, both reputable and malicious, can buy personal data through a data broker. This guide will explain what data brokers are, as well as the services BlackCloak offers to deal with these entities.
What are Data Brokers? Data brokers are information aggregators that collect personal information on public records found on the internet. Data brokers normally collect personal information from voter registration, census data, birth certificates, property records, vehicle registration records and social media profiles, and then sell them to other companies, mostly for marketing purposes. The data points the brokers can collect can be quite vast. Brokers can collect everything from an individual’s name and address to far more specific information, such as data related to your travel preferences, auto loan and property information. They can also gather information on your family members.
Are Data Brokers Legal? Yes, there are currently no laws in place regulating data brokers in the United States.
How Do Cybercriminals Leverage Data Brokers? Hackers and cyber criminals could use information gathered by data brokers to conduct phishing attacks. Should they get their hands on your email address or phone number, for example, they could use those data points to conduct social engineering attacks by sending personalized spam emails and text messages to you.
Cybercriminals can also use information obtained from a data broker to:
- Conduct other phishing attacks
- Bypass security questions
- Help facilitate identity theft
- Or be used for disciminatory purposes
How Does BlackCloak Help With Data Brokers? BlackCloak is here to help not only identify which sites have your information, but remove it from those services as well.
If part of your plan, BlackCloak sends opt-out requests on your behalf to have information removed from data brokering websites. BlackCloak processes opt-out requests to more than 120 data broker sites, which includes 411.com, Addresses.com, Phonebooks.com, Whitepages.com and Yellowpages.com.
This isn’t a one-time service either, as BlackCloak conducts monthly scans to see whether your information has appeared with a new data broker and continues the removal request process.
You can also monitor the data broker removals in your BlackCloak application.
The BlackCloak app tells you how many of your profiles we've have found, the number of profiles we are in the process of removing and the total number of profiles that have been successfully removed. By clicking on Full Details, you'll be able to see all of the data broker profiles we've found.
While BlackCloak covers more than 120 data broker websites, there are thousands in existence. If you suspect your information may reside on a data broker site, make sure to contact us via email or through a scheduled Concierge appointment with one of our team members and we will check it out and remove it ourselves. If a data broker requires personally identifiable information to complete the removal, BlackCloak will offer instructions to help you facilitate your request.