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How is Incogni in reality?
I personally found Incogni to be an amazing data removal service. It can even be had for less than $1/month. Give Incogni FREE version a test run now. Let's get into the full review!
Incogni Rapid Rundown
Incogni offers data removal services to customers who want to have their online presence erased. As soon as you subscribe, the process will start right away. Incogni contacts data brokers and people search sites immediately. Then they will file personal data removal requests on your behalf. You can keep track of the removal process through the Incogni Dashboard.
Incogni is the epitome of simplicity. From pricing options to its user interface, Incogni offers you a straightforward experience. You don’t have to wrack your brain to figure out what to do. On the flipside, that also means Incogni isn’t packed with features. For instance, it doesn’t offer reports, email masking, or custom requests the way, say, DeleteMe does.
- Dashboard – Displays the status of your data removal requests. This includes the number of requests sent, in progress, and completed.
- Detailed View – Shows you the removal status for each data broker. This includes the data broker’s name, compliance score, severity level, requests received, and so on.
- Interactive Tutorial – Gives you an interactive tour around the Detailed View page. You’ll be provided with information about each major element in the user interface.
Pros and Cons
We'll soon get to the full Incogni review. But before that, here’s a snapshot of the advantages and disadvantages of getting an Incogni subscription.
The Full Review
It’s finally time to dive into the meat of this Incogni review. You’re about to learn everything you need to know about this ultra-minimalistic data removal provider. Ready? Let’s start with pricing. How much does Incogni cost?
Incogni only offers two subscription plans. There’s an Annual plan and a Monthly plan. That’s it! The monthly plan costs $12.99 per month, while the annual plan translates to $6.49 per month. When I choose an online service, I generally prefer those that allow me to pay monthly. A monthly plan gives me the option to cancel after the first month or so if I don’t like the service.
Bear in mind though, the data removal process can sometimes take multiple months. So many data brokers are slow to act and hence require follow ups. For me, this justifies the annual plan, which is also substantially cheaper. You’ll want to factor this into your buying decision.
So Incogni's monthly plan isn't exactly the most ideal given its cost. But you’ll be happy to know that this subscription based service offers a 30-day money back guarantee. This allows you to cancel your subscription and get your money back within 30 days after sign up. That's if you’re not satisfied with the service. For comparison, DeleteMe only gives you a refund if you cancel before you receive your first Privacy Report. Since DeleteMe’s first privacy report usually arrives within seven days, that means you’re only given 7 days to cancel to get a refund.
Data Broker Companies That Incogni Contacts
As of this writing, the number of data brokers Incogni contacts is 149. This number may change from time to time. Incogni constantly adds new data brokers. However, some may have merged and others may have closed shop. Thus, the number can go up or go down.
Some of the brokers covered by Incogni include:
- And many others
Features and Capabilities
As hinted earlier, Incogni isn’t full of features. But what other features do you really need if all you want is an easy way to remove your data online? Incogni already takes charge of sending data removal requests. It also takes care of follow ups. So, all you’ll likely need is a way to track their progress.
An Incogni subscription allows you to track progress through these two menus: Dashboard and Detailed View. You can find them at the top of the page when you login to Incogni.
The Incogni Dashboard provides crucial status information about your data removal requests. It shows three key figures on requests—sent, in progress, and completed. It also gives the number of suppression list entries you are on. A suppression list is a list that names customers whose personal info will no longer be collected, traded, or stored by the broker moving forward. This means the more supression lists you are on, the better for you.
In some instances, the Dashboard may also contain alert dialog boxes. These are for issues that require further action on your part. Your actions will help Incogni speed up or complete the data removal process. For example, the boxes might ask you to select certain profiles or provide additional information.
Further down, you’ll see activity logs pertinent to the data removal requests. In most cases, it will just show when a data removal request was completed.
This page contains all the details about specific data brokers and the official data removal requests. You can filter the results by broker type, severity score, compliance score, and request status. Let’s talk about each filter in more detail.
There are two types of data brokers: public databases and private databases. Public databases focus on selling individual personal information. Private databases, on the other hand, focus on selling personal data in bulk. Due to the volume of data, private databases often contain more sensitive information. Marketers use these types of data to create targeted ads.
The compliance score shows how fast and reliable a data broker is in complying with removal requests. Take note however, that the “scores” aren’t numeric but are qualitative. They are based on Incogni's internal algorithm and evaluation system. Data brokers can be Compliant, Inconsistent, Resistant, or Undetermined.
This qualitative score indicates the level of data sensitivity and associated risks a data broker has. The scores are rated High, Medium, and Low. Data brokers with High scores store a lot of sensitive data and are susceptible to identity theft.
This simply indicates the status of the removal requests sent to a particular data broker. The status labels are In Progress or Completed. A request with the status In Progress means that it is still being processed by the broker. A Completed status means that the data has been successfully removed.
In the list of data brokers, you may get more detailed information for each broker by clicking on them. This will expand the entry and show more details.
Here’s how an expanded entry looks like. You’ll see some relevant information like the average resolution time, a brief description of the company, associated risks, and so on. Ideally, you’ll want to see the broker marked “Suppressed”. This means the broker has promised not to collect and store your data anymore. A “Completed” status only means the broker removed your data for now. It’s not a guarantee they won’t collect it again in the future.
Ease of Use and Setup
Incogni is easily one of the most, if not THE most user friendly data removal service out there. Well, as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t have a lot of features to begin with. The only page that requires some user interaction is the Detailed View page. And if you get stumped there, you can click the Interactive Tutorial to get assistance.
Incogni Account Creation
The Incogni registration process is pretty straightforward. Incogni doesn’t require as much personal data as other similar providers. When you sign up, you’ll only need to provide:
- Your email address,
- A password for your account,
- Your name,
- Your phone number,
- Your date of birth, and
- Your physical address
You’ll also need to sign an authorization form. The contents of the authorization form serves as a limited power of attorney. This means you are granting Incogni permission to send removal requests on your behalf.
If you think you’re sharing a lot of personal data with Incogni, you should see other information removal sites. Other providers ask for more personal data that may seem needless. This info could be your employment history and even information about your relatives.
The Interactive Tutorial is a tool that walks you through the different components of the Detailed View page. You can activate it by clicking the link as shown below. It will then start orienting you with the different elements of that page.
Incogni Customer Support
Since there’s really not much you can do once the data removal process is underway, it’s unlikely you’ll need customer support. However, should you need further assistance, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click Help. This will bring you to Incogni’s Help Desk.
Here, you have 3 options:
- You can submit a request. This will trigger Incogni’s email-based customer support. This is the only kind of human-assisted help you’ll get from Incogni.
- You can type a question. This will allow you to trigger a search against Incogni’s Help Desk articles.
- You can click on any of the general topic buttons. This will allow you to browse to relevant topics and Help Desk articles.
What are data broker sites?
Data broker sites or data brokers are companies that collect personal data and then sell it to customers. These customers are companies that have use of the data. These could be marketing firms, insurance companies, financial institutions, and others. The data may be used for analytics, ad targeting, credit scoring, client profiling, and others. It all depends on the customer and the industry they are in.
Certain businesses may find data brokers beneficial for marketing and other similar purposes. Consumers, however, could view them as a threat to privacy. Targeted ads, for one, can sometimes be too invasive. Also, if all this data falls into the wrong hands, they could be used for identity theft and other malicious activities. These are the main reasons why some people are willing to pay for services like Incogni.
Where does a data broker site get your personal information?
Data brokers get personal information from public records, social media sites, and other websites. Some brokers may also source the data from other data brokers. As long as your personal data can be obtained from any of these sources, brokers will continue to collect it and have access to it.
Even if you manage to get data brokers to remove your data, new data brokers may pop up and take their place. Some data brokers are also only temporarily compliant to data removal requests. They may re-add your personal information after some time. In other words, having your data removed can be a never ending battle. That’s why you need help from sites like Incogni. They can continue to send removal requests for as long as necessary.
How to Remove Data From Data Brokers and People Search Sites?
If you’re up to it, you can have your personal information removed yourself. Here are some tips to carry that out.
- Identify the data brokers that have your personal data. This can be quite challenging. Unless you’re familiar with the various data brokers that are out there, you have to manually search online. Run a search for your personal information and then see if you can identify the companies that have them.
- Look for a data broker opt-out option. Some data brokers provide an opt-out mechanism for people who want their personal data removed. It’s similar to unsubscribing to a service, except that you’ll have to go through some additional steps. Be prepared to submit some personal info to prove your identity.
- Contact data brokers and request data removal. Some data brokers may not have an opt-out feature on their website. In cases like this, you’ll have to contact the company directly and file official removal requests.
- Configure online privacy settings on your social media account. Social media sites are one of the main sources of personal data. If you want to keep data collectors away from your data, stop data collection at the source. Log on to your social media account and go to the privacy settings. Configure your settings such that data collection is disabled.
Except perhaps step 4, all the steps outlined above can be quite challenging. Considering the huge number of data brokers out there, the entire process can take a great deal of time. We’re not even taking into account the new data broker sites that open from time to time.
If you value your online privacy, it would be much better if you hired data removal experts to do the job for you. Service providers like Incogni know what to do and who to contact. They also have the time to send and follow up opt-out requests. And, with their automated process, they can accomplish the task much faster.
How many data brokers does Incogni cover?
|Data Removal Service||Price||Data broker sites covered|
|Privacy Pros||$999 one-time||190+|
Can Incogni delete Google search results about me?
Yet, it can. Search sites like Google source their data from data brokers. Once your data is removed from these online databases, it will eventually be removed from Google’s search results as well. That said, the process can take some time. If you still see your customer data, it’s probably because Google failed to update its search results. You can try using Google’s URL Removal Tool to fix that.
Who owns Incogni?
Incogni is owned by VPN provider Surfshark. As a leading VPN provider, Surfshark is known for its commitment to privacy and security. Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction. Incogni isn’t registered there though. Rather, it’s registered at 506 S Spring St #13308 Los Angeles, CA 90013, the United States of America.
By virtue of its registered address, Incogni is covered by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). CCPA provides consumers several data privacy rights, including:
- The right to know
- The right to delete
- The right to opt out
- The right to correct inaccurate personal information
- The right to limit the use and disclosure of sensitive personal information
Incogni leverages the CCPA to have data brokers remove people’s personal info from their databases. Another similar law they can cite is the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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