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Is DeleteMe actually any good?
I found DeleteMe to be one of the best data removal services. It can even be had for less than $1/month using the link on this review. Or you can give DeleteMe FREE version a test run now. Let's get into the review!
DeleteMe Rapid Rundown
Removing one's personal information online is often very difficult. DeleteMe simplifies this. You just provide DeleteMe with relevant data, and they’ll take care of the rest. The DeleteMe team will find the data brokers that have your personal data and then initiate their removal. They will also keep you up-to-date of their progress through detailed quarterly reports. It’s essentially a hands-free subscription service.
DeleteMe services are already available in a few other countries outside the US. Some of them are in distant time zones. While that’s a good thing, DeleteMe still doesn’t provide 24/7 support. Support is only available from Monday to Friday, between 9AM to 8PM ET. This limited support can be frustrating for customers who are located on the other side of the globe.
- Privacy Report: Brings you up to speed about how the data removal process is going. It shows you the total records removed, data brokers with your personal info, etc.
- Custom Requests: Offers a quick way to seek assistance from DeleteMe agents if you still find your personal data online after having it removed earlier.
- Phone masking: Allows you to create disposable phone numbers. You can use it avoid spam calls and messages.
Pros and Cons
We have a full DeleteMe review coming up. But before that, here's a quick snapshot of its advantages and disadvantages.
The Full Review
Time to dive right into the heart of this DeleteMe review. Let me break down my findings to you now. First up is pricing. How much does DeleteMe cost?
Deleteme offers three personal plans: for 1 Person, for 2 People, and Family Plan. You can choose between a 1 year subscription or a 2-year subscription. Of course, the 2-year plan will give you the best bang for your buck. That said, the cheapest DeleteMe subscription starts at $129 per person. That’s a one year subscription.
|Plan Type||1-Year Subscription||2-Year Subscription|
|DeleteMe for 1 Person||$129||$209|
|DeleteMe for 2 People||$229||$349|
|DeleteMe for Business||$329||$499|
The DeleteMe service doesn’t have a monthly subscription plan. When I first noticed this, I didn’t like it. DeleteMe doesn’t offer a free trial. When I want to try out a service that doesn’t offer a free trial, I usually go for a monthly plan and then cancel if I don’t like it. Since DeleteMe doesn’t have a monthly plan, I don’t have that option.
But then my view on this perceived deficiency changed. Why? Because I soon learned that the removal process can sometimes take months. Some data broker sites are very slow to respond to data removal requests. In order for you to see the benefits of a data removal service, you have to give it enough time to complete its job. So, if you take this into consideration, an annual DeleteMe subscription makes sense.
While $129 per person per year might seem pricey, you’ll be surprised with how much other data removal sites charge. OneRep, for example, charges $179 per person per year. And then there’s Privacy Pros that charges a one-time fee of $999! DeleteMe’s price gets even more attractive once you take into account the number of data broker sites it covers.
DeleteMe covers a whopping 750+ data broker sites. That list includes leading data brokers. It’s the highest coverage among data removal providers, as far as I know. If you’re curious how many sites other providers cover, check out the FAQ section below.
DeleteMe also offers their services to businesses. However, you’ll have to contact DeleteMe for business pricing details.
Data Broker Websites That DeleteMe Contacts
DeleteMe contacts over 750 data broker sites to request personal information removal. Here are some of the sites it covers:
Features and Capabilities
DeleteMe comes packed with a nice selection of features. These make it shine as a personal information removal service. In the following sections, I’m going to talk about the features I like the most.
I love how DeleteMe keeps us updated with what they’ve accomplished so far. Once you’ve submitted all the necessary information, you’ll receive an initial report. It usually takes up to seven days for that initial report to arrive. Don’t expect a lot of removals at this point yet. The removal process can take several days or weeks. The first report will just be a status update about what the team discovered and what actions they’ve been doing up to that point.
After that initial report, you’ll get a DeleteMe report every quarter. My initial personal privacy report came out relatively clean, so it’s not so interesting. But here are some screenshots from a sample report on the DeleteMe website. I love how DeleteMe keeps us in the loop about their progress. It makes us appreciate the seemingly expensive annual fee more.
The report is pretty comprehensive. For example, the page above shows the brokers that have your personal information. In other pages, you’ll see the number of records reviewed and removed. In addition, the report also shows what types of personal information have been exposed to a particular data broker. This may include the following:
- Phone numbers
- List of Relatives
- Spouse name
- Social media accounts
- Email address
- Past address
- Marital Status
- Property Value
- Court Records
Email masking lets you generate random email addresses and use them in lieu of your real email address. This feature can be useful for avoiding spam emails. For example, you can use one of those random emails when signing up for an online service. In the past, you normally submitted your email address for this purpose. As a result, you’d end up getting a lot of spam emails. With DeleteMe’s email masking feature, you can avoid this nuisance.
Phone masking works just like email masking, but applied to your phone number. This feature generates disposable phone numbers. You can use a disposable phone number in lieu of your real number when signing up for an online service. By providing false data, you can avoid spammy phone calls or text messages.
All masking features are currently only available to US-based customers. This means you should have submitted US-based billing information. As mentioned, DeleteMe is already available in other countries. But this set of features is still limited to the US.
DeleteMe Data Sheet
The Data Sheet is where you would enter personal details, which DeleteMe will use to find your data on search engines and data brokers. Some of the personal information I was asked to provide included my:
- Full name
- Alternate names
- Complete current address
- Past address
- Email address
- Government issued ID
- Details of my current employer
- Details of my past employer
- And many others
I have to admit, I was a bit uneasy sharing a lot of private information with DeleteMe. It seemed counterintuitive. I wanted to reduce my personal information online. Yet, here I was, sharing them to another service provider. But that’s how the service works. Many data brokers require you to submit personal data to prove that you are who you claim you are. Yes, you don’t have to fill out all fields on the data sheet. But the less personal information you provide, the less effective DeleteMe will be at finding your data online.
If you're not comfortable giving out too much information, start small. DeleteMe can already go to work even with minimal information. Then once you start seeing results, consider providing more info.
The Search Yourself tool enables you to find information about yourself on Google searches. Once the results are shown, you can then go over each item and then have DeleteMe keep or remove them. You can also mark an item “Not Me” if DeleteMe erroneously displays a result that’s not you. If you’re a new user, you must still wait for 3 weeks after the first removal report in order to use this tool.
The Search Yourself tool is also one way of keeping track of DeleteMe’s progress. You can run a monthly search to see if the results you had removed the previous month were acted on.
Ease of Use and Setup
DeleteMe prides itself on being user-friendly and easy to set up. I can confirm this. I didn’t have any problem setting it up or figuring out how the service works. I especially like how all key features are easily accessible from the DeleteMe Dashboard. Yes, you’re asked to provide a lot of personal information at the start. That can be pretty tedious. But it’s not something that’s hard to understand.
DeleteMe account creation
The process of creating a DeleteMe account is pretty straightforward. Just do the following:
- Go the DeleteMe website pricing page,
- Select a plan
- Click that plan’s Start Protection button
- Fill out the form for your payment details and other personal information.
- Click Purchase & Start Deleting.
The default pricing page at the DeleteMe website has a note that says “US residents only”. If you belong to the countries below, you can create an account in the International DeleteMe page.
|Australia||Canada||Republic of Ireland||Singapore|
Just scroll down that page and then click your country under the Countries We Serve section.
Data brokers are very persistent. Even after DeleteMe has already successfully removed your personal data, some data brokers re-post them. DeleteMe offers an easy solution for this. If you still find personal data that DeleteMe has supposedly removed, you can just file a custom request for it.
To create custom requests, follow these steps:
- Login to DeleteMe
- Navigate to the Custom Requests tab found at the bottom-left of your screen.
- Click the “Make a Request” button
- Make a request
DeleteMe offers a free scan in case you want to know if data brokers have your personal information. You don’t have to be a DeleteMe customer to run a free scan. Just go to this page and enter your name and location. DeleteMe will then show you what information is stored by each broker.
Do bear in mind that the tool will only give you partial results. If you want a complete list of brokers that have your personal information, you need to purchase a plan.
DeleteMe Customer Support
DeleteMe’s support team is only available from Monday to Friday between 9AM to 8PM, US Eastern Time. Since they’re now serving other countries in different time zones, DeleteMe should consider providing 24/7 support. Australia and Singapore for instance, are countries now being served. But customers there won’t be able to receive a prompt reply during the day (their time). Plus, a US subscriber traveling halfway across the globe will encounter the same limitation and won't get immediate help.
To be fair, their support team is fast to respond within that 9AM-8PM ET window. I prefer contacting them through live chat, but you can get quick responses even via email support. They offer phone support as well. And, if you’re not in a rush, you can find information in their knowledgebase. The knowledgebase is accessible from the DeleteMe website or from the DeleteMe dashboard itself.
Should you wish to reach the DeleteMe team, you can use the following contact details:
- Phone number: 833 – DELETEME (833-335-3836)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Live Chat: Go to joindeleteme.com and click the Chat button in the lower-right corner of the web page.
We have now reached the end of this DeleteMe review. Before we part ways, I would like to invite you to our FAQ section. If you've been meaning to ask some questions while reading this article, you could find the answers here.
What are data broker sites?
Data broker sites are websites operated by companies that collect data on people and organizations. Also called people search sites, they collect what is known as personally identifiable information or PII. The companies behind these websites are called data brokers. They aggregate the data and then sell it to marketing firms, insurance companies, tech companies, and others. While I’m using the term ‘sell’, the data isn’t actually sold in the traditional sense of the word. It doesn’t change hands. Rather, data brokers license PII to customer organizations that subscribe to their services.
The data is then used for various purposes. These include customer profiling, data analytics, lead generation, and more. Data collected by data brokers may be beneficial to their subscribers. But this can compromise customer privacy. This is why many people don’t want their personal info—address, phone number, email address, profession, etc. known to businesses. If you feel the same way, it's best to have that information removed from data broker websites.
Where does a data broker site find your personal information?
Data brokers find your personal information in public records, social media, and other sites. They can also source it from other data brokers. They don’t do this manually. They usually employ programs called web crawlers or bots to search for that information. Some brokers also offer incentives or free services in exchange for your personal data.
That’s why, as you’ll learn in the next subsection, you must communicate with other entities if you want your online data completely removed. It’s not enough to just opt-out from data brokers. This is one of the reasons why it’s so much easier to use DeleteMe and other data removal sites. They take care of all these tasks for you.
How to Remove Data From Data Brokers and People Search Sites?
It’s possible to remove your personal data from data brokers and people search websites by yourself. Here are some of the steps you can take:
- Opt-out or unsubscribe from data broker websites. Many data broker sites have an opt-out or unsubscribe option. Using this, you can request to have your personal information removed from their databases. To opt out, you may need to fill out a form and provide proof of identification. Then wait for the request to be processed.
- Contact data brokers directly. If a data broker site does not have an opt-out option or if you want to ensure your information is removed, you can try contacting them directly. Look for the contact information on their website or run a quick internet search for it.
- Remove personal information from publicly available records. Data brokers often get personal information from public records. These include court documents, property records, and voter registration. You can try to get in touch with the government agency responsible for these documents. Request to have your data removed or made private.
- Manage privacy settings on social media. Data brokers also collect personal information from social media sites. Review and adjust your privacy settings to limit the amount of personal information available online.
Paying DeleteMe and other data removal sites may seem too expensive at first. But once you’ve tried going through all these steps yourself, you’ll likely change your mind. These processes can be very time-consuming. Hiring the professional services of a removal site is a more cost-efficient option.
How many data brokers does DeleteMe cover?
DeleteMe covers an impressive 750+ data broker sites. As far as I know, that’s the largest number of sites covered by any data removal company. Here’s a table comparing DeleteMe with other data removal sites in terms of price and data brokers covered.
|Data Removal Service||Price||Data broker sites covered|
|Privacy Pros||$999 one-time||190+|
Can DeleteMe delete Google search results about me?
The short answer is “Yes”. However, you must bear in mind that Google doesn’t have your personal data. Rather Google sources it from data broker sites. If you can have your data removed from those data broker sites, your data will gradually disappear from search engine results. If you already had your data removed but you still see it in the search results, it’s likely that you’re seeing outdated content. You can try using Google’s URL Removal Tool to fix that.
Can DeleteMe sell your data?
Is DeleteMe secure?
Yes, DeleteMe adheres with leading security practices. For instance, it sends out requests using HTTPS. That means, your sensitive information is encrypted as it’s sent through the Internet. In addition, you can enable 2-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA makes it more difficult for a hacker to gain unauthorized access to your DeleteMe account.
I highly recommend you enable 2FA. In fact, you should enable 2FA for all your apps and online services. DeleteMe supports two types of 2FA. You can choose between an authenticator app or a code sent to your registered email. DeleteMe recommends Google Authenticator for authenticator app-based 2FA.
What information does DeleteMe protect?
DeleteMe primarily protects personally identifiable information or PII. This is any kind of personal data that can be used to identify you. This includes your name, phone number, email address, and so on. By removing your PII from data brokers, DeleteMe minimizes your exposure to identity theft. If your PII is not publicly available, identity thieves and other cybercriminals can’t abuse it. They can’t, for example, impersonate you and claim health benefits on your behalf.
Is DeleteMe worth the money?
DeleteMe isn’t cheap, there’s no doubt about that. But if you consider its benefits and ease-of-use, it’s worth every penny. DeleteMe is really good at removing your personal information from the world wide web. And it does so with very little effort on your part. I highly recommend it.
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