- Regular data deletions
- Quarterly privacy reports
- Personal privacy advisor
- Online masking features
- Free opt-out guides
- Responsive customer service
- Complex onboarding
- No free version
- Pricing not fully transparent
In 2019, Facebook was fined billions of dollars due to its privacy violations. Since then, data harvesting policies have become stricter, and now most internet pages invite you to accept, deny, or customize cookies before navigating. However, this doesn’t prevent data brokers from holding on to your information without consent.
This is where DeleteMe comes in. Launched in 2010 by Abine Inc., DeleteMe offers solutions for regular people or businesses looking to delete their presence across various databases or broker sites. With innovative layers of protection, like email and phone masking, DeleteMe shields its users against unsolicited marketing, malicious communication, and even data theft.
From $129 per year, this service scours 750 data broker sites for your information. Although no free versions or plans are available, DeleteMe offers a referral program, regular promotions such as our exclusive offer only available to Best Reviews readers, and discounts for longer billing cycles. Plus, it provides numerous free guides and articles on data advocacy.
DeleteMe carefully curates, protects, and wipes your online presence from data broker sites that often compile publicly available information. For individuals and businesses alike, the solution provides data breach assistance and robust management services focusing on reputations and digital footprints.
Solo users can remove bank and equated monthly installment (EMI) information and receive alerts regarding their financial data. Anti-doxxing services for companies are also available to safeguard business data from all kinds of malicious activities.
From a user perspective, we initially found the software overwhelming. DeleteMe requires users to submit personal information such as name, date of birth, gender, and contact details. But here’s the kicker – the company also asks for redacted government-issued IDs for further authentication. The service justifies this by stating that some governments require identity verification before permitting data deletion.
However, once we had become familiar with the interface, it became more intuitive and easier to navigate. After submitting personal identifiable information (PII), DeleteMe experts verify it, and the data removal process begins after seven days. Afterward, the company runs regular deletions throughout the year and new privacy reports every three months.
The online privacy features that DeleteMe brings to the table are too many to count. At the heart of the platform, a dynamic dashboard provides a transparent overview of the types of personal data exposed and any ongoing actions against data brokers.
DeleteMe claims it covers 750 data brokers, but the individual plan only protects users from around 60 brokers, while the superior plans delete data from 130. A user has to put in a request for the service to scour any of the remaining 620 brokers.
With DeleteMe’s masking features, users are able to generate email addresses, contact numbers, and credit card details to replace their personal ones. Ultimately, this solution prevents data collectors from stealing confidential or private information through three options:
- Email masking works perfectly to stop the barrage of junk, spam, and marketing correspondence.
- Phone masking dodges unsolicited calls or texts with disposable numbers for a low fee.
- Card masking allows users to shop online without ever revealing their credit card details.
There’s also a ‘search yourself’ tool that makes a personal audit of your online presence, revealing any data stored by public websites and allowing you to choose what to remove. However, this function is only available three weeks after the first removal report and one month after your first data submission.
One of the standout features of DeleteMe is its user-centric adaptability. This includes a specialized tab where a customer can suggest new data brokers. If a user finds a data broker not included on DeleteMe’s list, they can request that it be added to their scope of protection at no extra charge.
Another remarkable aspect of DeleteMe is its exposure reporting. Your first report comes after seven days, and all reports are insightful and easy to understand, offering a clear overview of how the service manages your online data footprint. They reveal the number of records checked, information found, and actions taken, such as opt-out requests sent to data brokers.
Even without subscribing, visitors to DeleteMe’s website can take advantage of its free guides on manually opting out of data brokers. However, DeleteMe still advises that these hands-on processes can be too time-consuming and intricate in comparison with the company’s professional automation.
Mobile and Integrations
DeleteMe offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android, so you can check all the information on the go. Additionally, DeleteMe integrates with its sibling service, IronVest, which is dedicated to protecting personal data from bank accounts and online payments. Together, these platforms provide a holistic strategy for online privacy, enabling users to safeguard multiple aspects of their online activities and private information.
DeleteMe caters to individual and corporate customers, but the business plans aren’t visible on its site and require a quote request. Unfortunately, there are no free trials available for any service tier.
Although there are no monthly plans, individuals can sign up for either an annual or 2-year plan, with one year costing $139 (equivalent to $10.75 per month), and two years $209 (or $8.71 a month). The 2-year plan for two users is more cost-effective, costing $349 (or $7.27 per user per month). However, the cheapest is the 2-year family plan, where four users pay only $5.19 per month.
Each plan offers data deletion on 15 public listings, a personal privacy expert, and customer support across all channels. Users can cancel at any time, but full refunds are only guaranteed if the cancellation occurs before receiving the first DeleteMe report, which happens after seven days of submitting personal data. A prorated refund is available for late dropouts based on the remaining subscription period.
DeleteMe also hosts an enticing refer-a-friend program, where users can get a $50 Amazon.com gift card upon a successful referral. But that’s not all – Best Reviews readers are eligible for an exclusive and generous discount.
Customer service is another area where DeleteMe excels. It offers a variety of channels, from email to calls, and its website’s chat operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, provided an agent is available online.
DeleteMe’s service bot helped us find our way to the support team that answered our queries swiftly within 24 hours. Although we would prefer that customer support was available 24/7, the responsiveness of DeleteMe’s agents and its comprehensive support page guided us thoroughly.
There’s a myriad of other self-service options on its site and blog, such as FAQs, tutorials, and educational content on opt-out processes and privacy laws across multiple countries. Impressively, the service also offers an entirely free scan.
DeleteMe is present on Facebook and LinkedIn, where it updates and engages with customers about its latest news and offers.