How To Delete Yourself From The Internet
If you are one of those people wondering how to remove your information from the Internet, we have some good news. We’ve received hundreds of messages lately from readers asking us that question and identity theft protection. For the past few months, we’ve been testing the market ourselves in order to help people at risk. Let’s dive in.
Whether you like to accept it or not, your entire personal information is already on the Internet. That’s because every time you visit a website and accept cookies (or download a particular software or app), data brokers automatically collect your name, address, and phone number, selling them further to third parties. It’s a fact as it’s a multi billion-dollar industry per year. It’s not for the public, so you wouldn’t know what goes beyond ‘accepting the cookies.’ We’ll explain in a short form.
Criminals collect personal details such as income levels, health conditions, and even political and religious beliefs. Not to mention they get the names of your relatives and acquaintances, too. The crooks also collect and sell details such as your browsing history and your credit scores to insurance companies, banks, and other institutions. This will lead to increased insurance rates and loan denials, among other financial repercussions. The scariest thing is, even your next job’s salary may be determined by what your future employer knows about you – because they buy your info. It’s all done by something called the ‘lead generation mafia.’
The Solution: Incogni from Surfshark
Luckily there is a solution to that. An automated tool called Incogni goes deep and removes your personal details from the Internet bushes. It’s a must-have service that you should definitely get as soon as you can. Incogni was verified by our staff throughout and is trustworthy and secure. Read more to see the review with info about how it works and price – or visit their platform now.
We’ll explain how it works below. Imagine a big powerful button that flushes your personal data from the Internet. Also, it enforces existing data privacy laws. It’s a complex process, but the good news is that, well, you don’t have to do anything. Incogni will do it for you if you give them the reigns.
How To Start The Removal of Personal Information
The setup is super easy. As on most websites, you must sign up with your email address and a password. As soon as you are a member, you’ll see on screen how many data brokers Incogni will contact on your behalf.
When you are ready to get the ball rolling, press the “Start the process” button to continue. Some people may needlessly get a bit reluctant here, but that’s a standard and legitimate procedure. To start the removal process and have the rights to act on your behalf by contacting all those data brokers, Incogni needs a legal authorization from you. You can grant by scribbling your signature via your mouse or trackpad.
As soon as you empower the platform to go and remove your information from the Internet, you will be prompted to select a subscription plan: monthly or yearly. As usual, choosing a year membership helps you save a lot of money – and it makes sense; see at the end of the article why. Once you select the length, Incogni uses an algorithm to find which companies have your information, then reaches out to them.
What’s cool is that you see a dashboard with the removal progress. That includes the number of data brokers contacted and the status of each of them.
We liked that Incogni started dealing with the data immediately – and you can see some results immediately. The whole process of removal can take days, but it’s worth it.
Your Personal Data Is Not Stored
We left the best for last. We discovered that Incogni doesn’t collect or research your personal data. It just holds a consistently-increasing catalog of collectors themselves. It connects with the world’s biggest data brokers and sends them the removal of personal information from internet requests. Simply put, it acts as a legal mediator between you and data brokers. Hence the Power of Attorney signature. It acts as a mediator between your and data brokers. Essentially, it enforces existing data protection laws on your behalf.
The program provides a “Detailed view” section to log data broker responses over time.
You can check your account daily to see the statuses of every data broker. We would personally advise you to check it weekly. When reading the results, the information about your data will be structured in 4 categories:
- Completed. That’s if the company reported that the information was removed.
- In Progress. That’s when Incogni contacted the data broker to remove your information from the Internet, and the process is underway.
- Rejected. That’s a rare case when the data broker refuses to delete the data they have. However, the good news is that if the company denies processing the request, Incogni will continue contacting them repeatedly to ensure your personal information is removed.
- Not Started. That’s self-explanatory. It is listed like that if the data removal process has yet to begin. That’s typically normal, which is why some removals could take up to 45 days.
One last cool thing is that Incogni also gives a general description of what data each broker collects and where it is used: Most of the time, these questionable agencies collect your name, phone, address, employment history, credit data, financial, insurance, recruitment, or advertising purposes. That’s crazy!
Luckily, Incogni also provides a level of sensitivity for all the data captured by brokers. They calculate it based on how sensitive the type of data collected by each broker is. For instance, brokers that collect Social Security Numbers have a higher sensitivity rating than those that collect only names and phone numbers. See the example below:
Is It Worth It?
From our research on our own profiles here at Scam Detector, it is worth it for many reasons. Not just for the effectiveness we’ve seen but also from a different perspective. As everyone’s data collection is constant nowadays, our information will make its way to new suspicious data brokers. That means that the process of removing the data will also be consistent.
As Incogni also includes new brokers in its database for an even more comprehensive personal data search, it only makes sense to get an annual membership. For the price of two coffees ($6.49/month per yearly membership), you can rest assured that your data gets removed automatically from the Internet. US, UK, EU, Swiss and Canadian residents only. Ready? Click the button below.
How To Report a Scam
Let your family and friends know about how to remove your information from the Internet by sharing this article on social media. However, you can also officially report crooks and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission by using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most prevalent scams every week, please consider subscribing to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – we promise not to spam you. It’s all about safe Internet tips.
Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other identity theft related articles under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, use the comments section below to expose other criminals.
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