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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

DeleteMe Review: Is It Worth The Money?

Updated: Jan 27


DeleteMe Review: Is DeleteMe Worth The Money

My Honest Experience with DeleteMe: A Detailed Review


As a longtime customer, I believe DeleteMe is worth the money. And no, DeleteMe can’t delete your online existence, but they can remove your private data from tons of websites that sell your information and make it harder for people to find you.


For example, anyone can go to WhitePages.com and search for your name. The site will show results of people with your name in your area with some rough details like your city, street address, and potential relatives. From there, a full catalog of your personal, private data can be purchased for any reason. That may feel illegal, but it’s not.


If you don't have time to read the entire review, feel free to jump to the section you need:



DeleteMe and Online Privacy


Not that long ago, companies didn’t track where we went, what we clicked on, or counted what ads we engaged with. Today, nearly everything we do is tracked. Then when we do things like refinance our home, apply for a credit card, or download a new app, our personal data is harvested… and then sold.


Data brokers are companies that “procure” your data (buy it) from credit card companies, app developers, and social media companies. So just about everything we do online is tracked and logged by some company.


Now let’s introduce the scourge of the internet, the people-search sites. These sites are databases of information on private citizens like you and me that can be bought by anyone. This information includes:


  • Your full name

  • Alternate names

  • Birthdate

  • Gender

  • Marital status

  • Email address

  • Social media profiles

  • Family members

  • Court records

  • Phone numbers

  • Employers

  • And more!


If I know your name and city, then chances are I can buy all of this information about you. How does that make you feel?


DeleteMe Privacy Plan Disocunt Code DAD

What is DeleteMe?


DeleteMe is a service that provides privacy for people like us. They help customers remove personal, sensitive information from data broker websites so random people and companies can’t buy it.


While everything these data broker sites do is legal, thankfully there is some government regulation. Data brokers must legally offer a way to request that our data be removed.

You might be thinking, “Great, I’ll submit my requests today.” And that sounds like a good idea, but let me tell you the reality, friend.


There is no standard removal method, timeline, or submission process. Plus, you don’t know who all of the data brokers are, and new ones pop up all the time. It’s like a sad, frustrating game of whack-a-mole. DeleteMe actually offers a free guide so you a do it yourself and you’ll find how tedious this process is.


Now that you’re dizzy from thinking about all the things you have to do to opt out, this is where DeleteMe comes in. They take care of this process for you. All you need to do is sign up, answer some questions, and DeleteMe goes to work for you.


Once you’re in, they find all of the data about you that is for sale. Then they set about removing that data as fast as they can. Unfortunately, that process can take a while because brokers don’t have to move fast. Once your data is deleted, they continue to look for it and remove it as necessary. Plus, they add new data brokers as the pop-up and remove your data. So they never stop working for you.


DeleteMe Review: My Personal Experience


I joined DeleteMe in 2018 after I discovered what data brokers were and how easy people-search sites made it to find me. I don’t have anything to hide necessarily, but the thought of someone finding me online and driving to my door is very unsettling. I see DeleteMe as a defensive tool as well as a privacy necessity.


Sign-up was easy and it’s very much a set-it-and-forget-it service. Occasionally, I’ll get a question from the team. I’ve had to send more information like a copy of my driver’s license because apparently, some data brokers have that as a barrier for the opt-out process. They want to confirm your identity before you opt out. But these sites had no problem selling my identity without verification or consent – just sayin’.


Every quarter I get a report that says how many sites I’ve been deleted from and what sites they are currently in the process of removing my information from. In the case that they do find my data somewhere, they tell me they’re on it and how long the removal process will be, which is great.


I’m also given a privacy advisor that can answer any questions I have. Plus, I can make requests for them to help me. This is what I think sets DeleteMe apart from other data removal services, they have real people. Many of the other services are automated bots that spam your information to these sites. DeleteMe has real, hardworking people who are privacy advocates working on your behalf.


My Biggest Lesson from DeleteMe


I learned that when you opt out of people-search sites you are only opting out of the data they CURRENTLY have on you. It’s not a protection from future data yet to be purchased.

This is an important distinction especially if you buy a new home or get a new credit card. The same company can buy your information again because it’s technically “new”. This means if you opt out of a bunch of sites and refinance your home, you’ll have to opt out all over again. It’s a never-ending cycle.


Remember that sad, frustrating game of whack-a-mole I talked about? The privacy professionals at DeleteMe work continually to remove your data, check for it frequently, and delete your data again if it’s necessary.


Detailed Breakdown of DeleteMe’s Key Features:


What most people like me appreciate about DeleteMe is that it is simple to set up. Getting started only takes about 20 minutes and that includes scanning a copy of your driver’s license. Then you can pretty much set it and move on with your life knowing that DeleteMe is going to handle all the heavy lifting. They are upfront with you that it will take time, but once they start moving, they don’t stop.


Having a privacy advisor is a big deal. I know I mentioned it before, but having a real person who can answer your questions promptly is crucial. Many of DeleteMe’s competitors are automated services that simply blast your data to broker sites and hope that it sticks. They don’t search for you; they just give away your information which seems counterintuitive. Also, if you find your information online somewhere, you can show your privacy advisor who can then work on a solution.


The sites that DeleteMe removes your data from are too numerous to mention, but you can get a full list here. Since I became a client, DeleteMe has added a ton of new sites they remove from. DeleteMe is constantly looking for ways to improve its service. This company truly is a privacy advocate.


DeleteMe Privacy Report


What I appreciate about DeleteMe is that they keep me in the loop. I always know what’s going on. Once a quarter I get an email about a privacy report. Security is important to them, so I log in and see what’s going on. My dashboard gives me fun stats like this:


DeleteMe Privacy Dashboard
This is my DeleteMe Privacy Dashboard

DeleteMe Privacy Reports look like this:


DeleteMe Privacy Report
These are two pages from my DeleteMe Privacy Report

The report is easy to understand. Sites where my information is being removed appear on the left. You can see the types of personal data they found on you at the site. Sites that do not have my data are noted with a green checkmark. Simple to understand, right?


Pros and Cons of DeleteMe


Now that you’ve seen how DeleteMe works, let’s take a look at the pros and cons. As a longtime customer, I’ve seen this service grow. While they are not perfect, I feel that are working on getting better, which is appreciated.


Understanding the Limitations of DeleteMe


I’ll admit that the name DeleteMe is accurate, as it does delete your information from data broker sites, but it won’t make you a ghost on the internet. While that sounds very cool and spy-like there are limits to what they can do. DeleteMe can’t legally erase your data from government websites. Apparently, that’s a crime.


There will be iron-clad places online that not even DeleteMe can touch, one of which is news sites. If you were featured in a news article and you want it removed, that’s up to the publisher. But if you contact your privacy advisor, then there might be some advice they can give to help you solve your concern.


It’s important to note that DeleteMe can’t remove anything from a social media site. If we want our accounts deleted, then we have to do it. Social media companies are very reluctant to give up the data they’ve collected on you. In many cases even if you delete your account, the companies do not indicate that they’ll remove the information they’ve collected. You’re just simply deleting your account, not your data. Fun, right?


The last part isn’t the fault of DeleteMe, and that is that the removal process takes time. No magic button burns your identity from the information superhighway. By its nature, private data removal can take up to 6 weeks or more depending on the broker’s terms.


What Makes DeleteMe Better


I chose to do business with DeleteMe because of the sheer number of sites they remove from and how efficiently they do it. Since I’ve been a customer, they’ve added more than 100 data brokers to delete from. This tells me they are constantly looking at privacy and staying current with the market.


When I signed up for DeleteMe I saw results in days. I knew that when I submitted my information they went to work for me. I never had to wonder if they were doing anything because they kept me up to date and were transparent with their efforts.


Having a privacy advisor to chat with is important to me. DeleteMe does not feel like a cold spambot like other sites. The few times I’ve had to contact support or my privacy advisor I’ve gotten a prompt response that solved my problem. When you are trying to take back your exposed personal data, it’s comforting to know you’re going to get someone to help you.


Lastly, the privacy reports that DeleteMe sends quarterly are very detailed. I’m impressed that they list the sites in the removal process and take the time to list the data they are removing. I don’t have to guess what was there, I know from the report. Plus, I get to see all of the sites they referenced where my data has been deleted.


FAQ’s: Addressing Common Questions About DeleteMe:


Does DeleteMe Actually Work?


I can attest from my experience that DeleteMe does work to remove your personal information from data broker sites. I have years of quarterly reports that prove that, and I’ve even searched these sites for myself and confirmed that I’ve been deleted.


How Long Does It Take for DeleteMe to Work?


Many people ask this question incorrectly. What they really want to know is how quickly they can be removed from a people-search site. That can vary from site to site. Some can take as little as 24 hours, others require 6 weeks and a valid ID. Unfortunately, the time it takes for your data to be removed once DeleteMe as requested it is out of their control. Trust me, they’d like to delete your information instantly, but data brokers don’t want to do that.

But to answer the real question that was asked, DeleteMe starts working as soon as you sign up and submit your information. You’ll get your first data report in about a week after you sign up.


Is DeleteMe Better than Incogni?


While I am not a client of Incogni, there is a big difference between the two companies. As I’ve mentioned, DeleteMe searches for your data across the internet and when they find it, they request that it be deleted.


Incogni does something different. According to their own website, “Incogni makes a list of data brokers likely to have each customer’s information and sends removal requests to those companies.”


How does Incogni work?
Statement from Incogni's website.

What causes me concern is they have a list “likely to have each customer’s information” but they don’t know. This leads me to conclude that they’re not actively looking for your data. They’re just sending a bunch of automated requests and hope it works.


That’s not good enough for me.


DeleteMe Plan Discount Code DAD

Does DeleteMe Sell Your Information?


DeleteMe will not sell your data. I know this because I’ve personally asked Rob Shavell the CEO of Abine, DeleteMe’s parent company. He’s been a guest on The Secure Dad Podcast.

Plus, the privacy policy on their website says, “You retain the ownership over all the personal information that you submit to the DeleteMe Service, and Abine will never sell it.” So don’t worry, your data isn’t going to be sold.


Privacy Concerns


Any data removal service like DeleteMe is going to require a lot of trust on your part as the user. It’s the nature of the business to send a bunch of personal information and trust that they’ll use it and store it, correctly. While I know security is a top priority for them, a data breach here would be bad for a lot of people. DeleteMe knows that which is why they work to keep data private and secure.


The Future of Online Privacy: DeleteMe’s Role


It seems like every day we learn of a new way our privacy is being errored online, in stores, and with transactions. Privacy threats are evolving and DeleteMe is aware of that. They have teams of people who are constantly looking for how data collecting, and privacy is moving and what they need to do to stay ahead of the curve. This isn’t just a good business practice, it’s good for all of us.


Many states like California have enacted tough laws to promote citizen data privacy. More actions like this are going to have to be taken to set a standard of protection for private citizens. DeleteMe supports many privacy laws and with its blog and social media channels promotes awareness and involvement.


My concern for the future of data privacy is that we are going to forget our freedoms of the past. Google didn’t always know where we were on planet Earth at any given moment, my face wasn’t always logged when I walked into a home improvement store, and my work history wasn’t always available to any creep who wanted to buy it. In many ways, DeleteMe is on the leading edge of data privacy development. In the future, I believe DeleteMe will offer even more ways we can lead private lives like we once did.


DeleteMe Review: Conclusion


DeleteMe does the work that I don’t want to do. My time is more valuable than my money in this case. I don’t want to play whack-a-mole, I want DeleteMe to well… delete me.


I’ve seen over the years that the data removal process that DeleteMe uses works. I’ve seen my data removed from reports and even searched for myself on these sites to confirm their reports. I know that DeleteMe works.


It’s easy to use DeleteMe. Once you sign up, you answer some questions and provide some personal information, and they then go hunt down the data brokers that keep you up at night. I like the feeling that capable people have my back.


Overall, my family trusts DeleteMe. Yours can, too.


DeleteMe Discount


If you feel DeleteMe is right for you, then you can get a 20% discount on any privacy plan when using the code DAD at checkout. I hope you have found my DeleteMe review helpful.


DeleteMe Discount Code DAD


Note: This article contains affiliate links and honest opinions. I am proud to partner with DeleteMe.


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Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.

 

Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

 

TheSecureDad.com

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