Whether you realize it or not, your private, personal information is easily accessible on the internet, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s possible to remove your information from public view, protecting your privacy and safeguarding against potential fraud.
Why you should protect your personal information
In our increasingly digital age, many common services require you to provide some of your personal information. Unfortunately, these services don’t always treat your data with respect, and often, if something is “free,” then you’re probably paying for it through the sale of your information. Worse, sometimes a legitimate site will get hacked and your otherwise private info ends up online and ready to abuse.
One way or another, details about you, your life, and your family may end up in the hands of a data broker or accessible on a people search website. In some cases, potential employers will use information from brokers or people search to look into your history.
However, these same sources could also be used to stalk someone or dox them. Your name, address, phone number, and even connections to family members can potentially be posted online without your notice.
With so much potentially at stake between your family’s personal safety and the chance of identity theft or fraud, keeping your sensitive information off the internet is simply the wise thing to do.
Finding and deleting your private info
There are plenty of free tools available to help find and remove some of your personal information from the internet. For example, Google offers a free dark web report detailing the times your name, email, password, SSN, or other info has leaked online. Similarly, the company’s password manager lets you know if any of your current passwords have been exposed, while “Results about you” can alert you when your name pops up in Google Search results.
It’s also good practice to be mindful of what apps and websites you’ve created an account with. With time, any and all of those could be potentially affected by a data breach. By deleting unused apps – and additionally deleting the associated account from their servers – you can reduce the chances of malicious hackers getting your information.
The most critical way to protect your information is to directly contact the data brokers and people search websites that readily provide or sell your info. These services have opt-out methods (albeit frequently complicated ones) that allow you to request to have your information removed.
However, this is a process that needs to be done for each site or broker, and you’ll likely need to do it all over again down the line when new information is added. Worse, sometimes these requests are initially rejected and need to be contested, tying up even more of your time.
To save yourself the frustration and chore, consider subscribing to protection services from Incogni.
How Incogni makes it easier
Incogni, created by cybersecurity company Surfshark, is designed to simplify protecting your personal information by removing it from the internet. Instead of manually checking with every possible data broker and sending individual removal requests, Incogni fully automates this process for you.
Incogni can quickly determine where your information is most likely to be found and immediately send removal requests. More importantly, the service will handle any rejected claims and even repeatedly follow up with brokers to ensure your data never reemerges. All along the way, you can see the work being done through the included Incogni dashboard.
With an active Incogni subscription, you’re in control of your online presence.
Sign up for Incogni today and use code “9to5google” to take advantage of an exclusive 55% discount with an annual plan.
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