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The best online data removal services

Erasing yourself from the internet isn't an easy or quick process, but these services can assist you.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
DeleteMe | The best service overall for data removal
DeleteMe
DeleteMe
The best service overall for data removal
View now View at DeleteMe
Incogni | The best service for handling data brokers
incogni
Incogni
The best service for handling data brokers
View now View at Incogni
Kanary | The best service for family plans
Kanary
Kanary
The best service for family plans
View now View at Kanary
PrivacyBee | The best service for enhanced protection
PrivacyBee
PrivacyBee
The best service for enhanced protection
View now View at PrivacyBee
Reputation Defender by Norton | The best service for businesses
Reputation Defender by Norton
Reputation Defender by Norton
The best service for businesses
View now View now

Now that most of us rely on the internet for communication, banking, shopping, our jobs, and managing our social lives, the line between our physical and digital identities has worn thin. 

There is an unimaginable amount of data available online about us, and -- although we can and should lock down our individual accounts -- there are times we'll feel compelled to take an extra step. One way to reduce our digital footprint and protect ourselves from being so easy to find -- or, potentially, to impersonate -- is to overhaul all the services we use.

Also: How to delete yourself from internet search results and hide your identity online

Old shopping accounts, archaic social media profiles, mailing list subscriptions, and more can clutter up our email inboxes and may, over time, become annoying or embarrassing. However, rather than trying to track the details of each service online that holds onto our data, there are services available dedicated to such tasks. 

ZDNET's top pick for a service for deleting yourself from the internet is DeleteMe, which focuses on removing your information and taking it out of the hands of data brokers -- all for an affordable price. Below, you will find other interesting and valuable services that can help reduce your online footprint and remove your data from the internet in 2024. 

The best services for deleting yourself from the internet in 2024

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great user interface
  • Privacy reports
Cons
  • Three-month removal cycles
More Details

DeleteMe features: Data broker management | Data deletion request handling | Scanning | User interface | Privacy reports 

DeleteMe has earned many positive customer reviews and it's easy to see why. This extremely user-friendly option will work for you to remove your sensitive and personal information from online sources and data brokers, all while saving you the legwork. 

Once you've submitted your information, the organization will search for it online and send removal requests to third parties holding your data. A report will be sent to you outlining DeleteMe's progress within seven days.

DeleteMe offers three plans. The first option is for one person, for one year at $10.75/month. The second subscription, for two individuals and 12 months of protection, is priced at $19.08/month. The cheapest option for two people requires you to sign up for two years at $14.54/month.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Automatic data removal
  • Utilizes data privacy laws
  • Affordable
  • Monthly plans
Cons
  • A lack of detailed reporting
More Details

Incogni features: Data broker management | Data removal request follow-ups | Limited reports | Shadow profile detection | User education resources | 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark's Incogni is a great service for removing yourself from the internet and negotiating with data brokers. 

Once you've signed up, Incogni will send out removal requests to a vast array of data brokers and it will use applicable privacy laws -- including GDPR and CCPA -- to enforce these requests. 

The company says that most requests are handled within eight weeks, although some may require action by the user. Incogni will also tackle shadow profiles on your behalf. However, reports can be limited and may not provide as much in-depth information as some users may want.

Regarding pricing, Incogni offers monthly or annual plans. If you opt for a monthly plan, you will pay $12.99/month (tax included). Or, if you want to pay every year, Incogni's services will cost you $77.78, or $6.49/month thanks to a 50% promotion in effect at the time of this writing. 

If you're unsure of how much information you need to be scrubbed from the internet, you could opt for the monthly plan and consider a clean-up once or twice a year. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you find there is less out there related to you than you first believed, this service is a great try-before-you-buy option.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent features
  • Family plans
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Limited free plan
  • Some requests require manual review
More Details

Kanary features: User dashboard | Frequent scanning | Data removal request management | Strong security standards | Data broker management

Kanary is another excellent service for cleaning up your online information. Kanary will work on removing search links, data dumps, and your sensitive information from the web, all while providing a 90-day timeline to handle most removals. 

Once you've added your personal data to a user interface, or multiple profiles for family members, Kanary will review removal requests and start working on your behalf, although some requests may require manual handling. 

Kanary offers a great price for families. There is a basic, limited plan for free that includes a 14-day free trial of premium features, an individual plan for $12/month, or for family units of up to three individuals, you will pay $20.75/month.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Browser extension
  • Privacy monitoring
  • Select trusted companies
Cons
  • No free trial
  • Expensive
More Details

PrivacyBee features: Company checks | Data deletion | Data broker management | Privacy browser extension | User dashboard | 24/7 monitoring

PrivacyBee is another service able to track where your information is and act on your behalf to remove it from companies you don't trust, as well as data brokers. 

This service allows users to identify companies they either trust or do not trust, and then PrivacyBee will work with these organizations to adhere to your privacy choices. 

PrivacyBee will also check and monitor search results to remove sensitive information. Furthermore, users can download a browser extension that displays their data relationship with the companies they are visiting. 

Pricing begins at $197 per year, and as this is expensive as an up-front cost, this may deter some customers. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Personalized services
  • Reputable company
Cons
  • Prices unavailable publicly
More Details

Reputation Defender features: Personal service | Reputation management | Personal branding | Search result monitoring | Data deletion | Privacy threat reports

Reputation Defender by Norton is a tailored service offered to individuals, professionals, executives, and businesses. 

This service differs from our other recommendations as a personal offering that focuses on managing and cleaning up reputations, which could include online data removal, including the deletion of information held by data brokers and people-search websites. 

Norton's offering includes data management, reputation management, personal branding assistance, privacy alerts, regular scanning, and search result management. 

Prices for Reputation Defender by Norton are available upon request as cases are personalized and depend on your circumstances.

What are the best services for deleting yourself from the internet?

The best service for deleting yourself from the internet is DeleteMe, which focuses on removing your information and taking it away from data brokers -- and for an affordable price. 

Below, you will find some of the main features of each of our recommendations. 

Price

Conducts data removal/opt-out requests?

Free trial?

Personalized solutions?

Incogni

$6.49+/month

X

x

DeleteMe

$10.75+/month

X

Kanary

Free/$12+/month

✓ (limited free plan)

x

PrivacyBee

$197/year

X

x

Reputation Defender by Norton

On request

X

Which is the right service for deleting yourself from the internet for you?

The best service depends on your circumstances. But they can benefit anyone's situation, considering how often data breaches occur and how much of our personal information is now available online.

To help you decide, these are our expert recommendations for the best service for deleting yourself from the internet.

Choose this service for deleting yourself from the internet…

If you want or are…

Incogni

An affordable solution to protect yourself and your data. Incogni provides a one-stop-shop solution for data protection and management.

DeleteMe

To have information removed from search engines. You submit the information you want removed, and DeleteMe will do the rest.

Kanary

Protection for more than one person. Kanary provides great value for families who want their personal data monitored online. 

PrivacyBee

To choose what companies you trust. PrivacyBee allows you to select companies you are comfortable with holding your data, as well as select organizations of which you want your information deleted from their records. 

Reputation Defender by Norton

A reputation manager. Reputation Defender is best suited to high-profile individuals and businesses that need constant supervision and reputation protection. 

How did we choose these services for reducing your online footprint?

When choosing the best services for deleting yourself from the internet, there are a number of factors we considered, including:

  • Price: While selecting the best services, we wanted to provide a range of options with different price points, including very affordable subscriptions and plans. 
  • Removal: We included services that are able to scan, monitor, and check online databases and data broker repositories for your personal information -- and then work on your behalf to have it removed. 
  • Protection: The services listed above also include protective features that may reduce the likelihood of personalized spam calls and phishing emails, as well as trolling, stalking, or identity theft. 
  • Frequency: We also ensured that our recommended services can conduct frequent scans on your behalf. While you may just want one check and deletion, our information is constantly changing hands -- and this means that your data could reappear online. 

How do I delete myself from internet search results?

There are numerous steps you can take to stop your name from appearing in internet search results and through engines, including Google and Bing. However, it can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Below are some steps to help you get started.

  • Use a search engine: Your first action should be to type in your name, nicknames, and online handles into search engines. This step will reveal the information that anyone can easily find on you and can help you plan your next steps, including which companies you may need to contact to have data removed or what accounts to delete.
  • Lock down or delete social media accounts: Deletion is the nuclear option, but most social media platforms will have an option in settings to stop your profile from appearing in search engine results. As our profiles -- even if they are publicly limited -- can contain our photos, full name, and more, removing them from search engine queries can help reduce your online footprint. For step-by-step guides, visit Facebook (here), Instagram (here), and X -- formerly known as Twitter -- (here).
  • Delete old, unused accounts: Whether shopping, social media, or forums, each service you use -- or have used -- may tie your online identity together through your name, nicknames, or PII, all of which could be at risk if a data breach occurs. If you do not want to use a dedicated service, consider going through your email and password managers to find active accounts. You will need to access them and request removal manually. 
  • Clean up forum posts: Forums can often be overlooked, but if someone finds out the handles you commonly use, they may be able to find content connected to you -- which could now be completely irrelevant to the person you are today, or embarrassing if exposed. Delete old forum posts and preferably remove your accounts entirely. 
  • Contact webmasters: If you have old accounts that do not have auto-delete features, contact webmasters directly to have your profiles and data deleted. This process will likely be easier if you are in an area covered by regulations such as the EU's GDPR.
  • Request that people finder websites delete your information: People finder websites can be used as 'search engines' to look up someone based on their name, phone number, and other personal information, which can be a nightmare for privacy. Opting out and forcing the removal of your information from these organizations -- which may buy this information from data brokers -- can be an arduous process to perform manually, as it may require contacting each service individually to negotiate, and could require an understanding of applicable privacy and data protection laws to enforce your requests. Consider using a service such as Incogni or DeleteMe to do the legwork for you.
  • Deactivate email accounts: Our email accounts tend to be the core platform that ties your digital profile together, but once they're gone, they're gone. When you are ready, delete your email accounts, as this will break the common threads between your online services. However, only take this step if you are sure.

Can I remove my personal information from Google search?

You can, although the process is limited and your request may be rejected if the company doesn't believe there are grounds for removal. 

You will need to contact Google using this form, with the options being a request to remove information you see or to prevent information from appearing in Google search results. Removal requests can also be made for:

  • Exposed personal identifiable information (PII)
  • Explicit images, including adult content
  • Involuntary, fake pornography
  • Images of minors
  • Information from websites with 'exploitive' removal practices, such as those that demand payment

However, in some cases -- for example, a request to remove links to law enforcement statements or media articles concerning an individual and a prosecution -- Google may refuse as such information is in the public interest. If Google refuses, it will provide a reason for its decision. 

How can I protect my identity online?

There are numerous ways you can protect your identity online. Experts recommend securing personal information, locking down your social media accounts to friends and connections only, using antivirus software, regularly updating programs and software, and changing your passwords on a regular basis. 

Furthermore, if you find 'clones' of your identity -- such as a fake Facebook or dating app profile -- ensure you report the fake account to associated online services.

If you suspect your data has been leaked online, use the Have I Been Pwned service to see if you have been involved in any data breaches. 

Are there alternative services for deleting yourself from the internet worth considering?

While the services above for deleting yourself from the internet are ZDNET's top picks, there are many options available to consumers today. Here are some alternative options that might suit what you're looking for. 

View at OnerepView at EasyOptOuts
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