With corporate data breaches and identity theft on the rise, people are justifiably worried about how to keep their sensitive personal data safe online. Fortunately, the Incogni personal information removal service can reduce your exposure in multiple ways — with little effort on your part.
Use Incogni to remove your personal data from the internet
Remarkably, the number of identity theft victims in the United States skyrocketed more than 41% between 2021 and 2022, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. And rarely does a month go by without one or more news flashes about corporate data breaches by hackers putting customers’ personal information at risk.
Identity thieves and data brokers
Risks related to your online data don’t stop at outright crime. The number of data brokers has also risen, with hundreds of entities legally gathering and selling personal information.
Data brokers can prove problematic and even dangerous, as they collect and sell personal information far and wide. And with all this sensitive data available in different places, your risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime, like phishing scams and outright identity theft, goes up.
What is personal information?
Personal information can be basic, like your name and address, or more in-depth, like financial information. It gets online through publicly available sources like state and federal public records, shopping sites, social media accounts, data brokers and people search sites like Public Record Search, SearchQuarry and Sync.me
Most Americans believe they should have the right to remove information from online searches, according to the Pew Research Center.
Personal information that can show up online includes:
- Full name, contact information, date of birth, sex, marital status, race
- Property records
- Criminal/court records
- Financial records
- Medical records
- Social Security number
- History of employment
How can you remove personal information from the web?
You have options when it comes to removing your personal information online, but it can take a lot of work. Steps you can take include:
- Delete obsolete and unused online accounts (even if inactive, they may still process your information).
- Opt out from data broker sites and people search sites that sell your private data.
- Remove your information from search results through requests to website owners, hosts and Google itself.
- Delete unused apps from your phone (they often collect location and shopping preferences).
- Optimize security settings of your browsers, social media accounts, smartphone apps and search sites like Google.
- Stay safe by being aware of what you share, and cautious about phishing and malware.
- Use strong passwords and/or two-step verification.
- Utilize a virtual private network to cover your online tracks and avoid unsecured public networks when you can.
Remove your personal data the easy way with Incogni
The easiest and most foolproof way to remove online personal data is through a data removal service like Surfshark’s Incogni. It will automatically send opt-out requests on your behalf.
And because laws often require data brokers to comply for a certain amount of time, Incogni will continue searching and sending removal requests as long as you have an active subscription.
Cult of Mac readers can get 55% off Incogni’s annual plan
Incogni subscribers can keep their data off the market with a one-year subscription at a 55% discount by using code cultofmac. And they can monitor the process — potential databases found, requests sent, requests completed — on their Incogni dashboard.
Where to subscribe: Incogni