Published Published July 12, 2024
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DeleteMe review [July 2024]: detailed expert evaluation of benefits and drawbacks

DeleteMe review 2024
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Snapshot: a concise review of DeleteMe

DeleteMe removes personal information from more than 750 online data brokers – but a closer look reveals that its standard plan actually covers around 100 broker sites, the rest are covered by custom manual removal requests. Though DeleteMe is an effective data removal tool, it’s higher-priced than other services such as Onerep, which automatically removes private information from 207 data brokers.

What is the DeleteMe service?

DeleteMe is a personal data removal service founded in 2011 and owned by Abine, Inc.

The company removes personal information from data broker sites that collect, publish, share, and sell it to anyone willing to pay. Deleting yourself from broker databases is an important step in protecting your online privacy, minimizing spam emails, and preventing fraud.

DeleteMe homepage protect yourself button

How does DeleteMe work?

From what we can tell, DeleteMe removes information from data brokers with both automated and manual requests. Once you sign up, DeleteMe will automatically find your profiles and submit opt-out requests for a limited number of data broker sites, depending on your plan.

The rest require “custom requests,” where you find your profiles yourself and submit them to DeleteMe “privacy advisors” to complete manual removal on your behalf. Standard plans come with 40 custom requests per year.

After you sign up, DeleteMe will email your first privacy report in about seven days. Then, the service will re-run the data removal process and send a new detailed report every 90 days.

Here are our observations about the sign-up experience with DeleteMe.

1. Choose your plan and confirm your email

Standard protection is the only plan available by default, but you can upgrade in the dashboard after the sign-up. For our DeleteMe review, we went with one person for one year. 

After purchasing the plan, we received a confirmation email.

2. Complete the data sheet

The next step was to complete what DeleteMe calls a data sheet – essentially, information that helps the service find and remove profiles from data broker sites. DeleteMe allows you to add up to five alternate names, phone numbers, and email addresses and up to ten previous addresses.

Complete the data sheet

Some sites require you to confirm your email address during the removal process, so DeleteMe asks for an active email address to receive those verification emails. We actually don’t recommend sharing your primary email address with data brokers. While most follow ethical practices when it comes to opt-outs, some might enrich their databases with your information instead of deleting it. We recommend using a dummy account if you do the removal yourself or subscribing to a privacy service that uses disposable emails and phone numbers, like we do.

Next, DeleteMe asks for a government ID to verify your identity for sites that require it. However, you should not give your government ID to data brokers, so you can skip this step (we did).

Fill your info so our privacy experts can go and delete it

DeleteMe then asks for your current employer, previous employers, and professional details. This step is optional.

Then it asks for family and relatives to help find your profiles. You can add multiple family members, however, this step is also optional.

3. Sign the authorization form

Once you’ve filled out your data sheet, DeleteMe prompts you to sign an authorization form. This will let DeleteMe act as your authorized agent when opting out in states with relevant legislation (currently, those are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia). 

Sign the authorization form submit

Once you complete this step, the service tells you what to expect next: DeleteMe sends removal requests on your behalf, and you’ll receive your first privacy report in about seven days.

NOTE: Onerep allows adding unlimited aliases, phone numbers, and email addresses. Additionally, our service doesn’t require government IDs, family member names, or employment information to find and remove your profiles from data broker sites.

The number of websites serviced by DeleteMe

It’s important to understand how many sites personal data removal services cover to choose the most effective one for your needs. On their “Sites we remove from” page, DeleteMe says it removes personal information from more than 750 data brokers. However, a closer look at their complete list reveals that the actual number depends on your subscription and the standard plan covers around 100 data broker sites.

Around 22 sites are covered by Business Gold, Diamond, Platinum, and VIP plans, 3 are included in Diamond, Platinum, and VIP plans, and around 10 are covered by Platinum and VIP plans. The cost of these plans ranges from $180/year to $5000/year per person.

The remaining 650 sites are available via custom requests (you need to find profiles yourself and submit deletion requests to your privacy advisor). Standard plans allow 40 of those per year.

NOTE: Every Onerep plan automatically removes your personal information from 207 data brokers. However, if you’re on a premium plan and discover your information on data broker sites not covered by our automated service, you can submit unlimited manual removal requests.

What personal data does DeleteMe collect?

DeleteMe collects a wide range of data during the sign-up process, including your:

  • Name
  • Alternative names (optional)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender (optional)
  • Current email address
  • Previous email addresses (optional)
  • Current phone number
  • Previous phone numbers (optional)
  • Current address
  • Previous addresses (optional)
  • Current and past employers (optional)
  • Family and relatives (optional)
  • Common misspellings (optional)
  • An image of your government ID (such as your driver’s license) (optional)

Though all that personal data can help DeleteMe find your profiles and verify your identity, it’s more than is typically needed for data broker opt-out – and some data such as government IDs shouldn’t be shared with data brokers at all.

NOTE: Onerep never shares your email addresses or phone numbers with data brokers. Instead, we create a dummy email address and phone number to perform the removal process.

Pricing breakdown: how much does DeleteMe cost?

DeleteMe pricing depends on the number of years and people on your plan and the level of protection. All DeleteMe plans are based on a yearly subscription, prepaid annually or biannually. There are no monthly plans.

The company openly publishes pricing only for its standard subscription. Here are DeleteMe’s plans:

DeleteMe plan1 year2 years
1 person$129$209
2 people$229$349
Family (4 people)$329$499

DeleteMe doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does offer a free scan to show you which sites have your information. The privacy service also offers a full refund if you cancel before you receive your first privacy report (about seven days) and a pro-rated refund if you cancel after receiving your first privacy report.

NOTE: Onerep’s annual plans cover 207 data brokers for $99.95 (one person) and $180 (up to 6 people). In other words, our service offers twice the coverage at a lower price. We also offer monthly plans for $14.95/month (one person) and $27.95/month (up to 6 people), providing greater billing flexibility. In addition, we offer a free 5-day trial, giving you a good possibility to test our product.

Exploring the DeleteMe dashboard features

We found the dashboard easy to navigate during our DeleteMe review. When you first log in, the DeleteMe dashboard displays:

  • Your last report date with a download button
  • Your subscription level and renewal date
  • Personal info alerts or a tip box

If DeleteMe finds similar profiles, it will ask you to confirm whether they’re yours, though it doesn’t provide links so you can verify on the actual sites. In most cases, we found it easy to tell whether the profiles were ours from the information DeleteMe listed, but in some cases – such as misspelled names – there wasn’t enough information to determine whether those profiles were for us or someone else.

DeleteMe dashboard features

Next, the dashboard displays three boxes:

  • Total number of data brokers searched
  • Number of listings reviewed (the number of listings found for your name – not all of them represent you as they include people with the same name)
  • Number of data brokers with your info
Privacy Dashboard

Below that, you’ll see a series of interactive charts that display:

  • Number of listings reviewed by month
  • Number of listings removed by month
  • A breakdown of the type of personal data DeleteMe found exposed
your exposed data

Interestingly, while the dashboard tells how many listings have been reviewed, it doesn’t specify how many of actually yours have been found. And while the number in the “Listings Removed” section gives some idea of your removal progress, there’s no information about how many listings are left. Due to this, your current exposure and actual progress may remain a bit vague until a quarterly report arrives. 

The dashboard also links to your:

  • Privacy Reports
  • Privacy Tools (email masking, phone masking, and virtual credit cards). Email masking appears to be included in your plan, but masked phone numbers cost $7 each
  • Data Sheet (you can update your information at any time)
  • Account (Profile, Billing, and Custom Requests)
  • A $50 refer-a-friend reward offer

Custom requests

We found one of our profiles listed on a data broker not covered by a Standard plan and submitted a custom request through the DeleteMe dashboard. 

Some time later, we received an email notifying us there was an update on our removal request. The email included information about the data broker plus links to additional privacy information. We logged into our dashboard to view the update, which stated that our privacy advisor had investigated, found the listing still active, and submitted an opt-out request on our behalf, but DeleteMe could not guarantee it would be honored.

Site not part of your plan

Search yourself

Three weeks after receiving your first removal report, you can use the tool to search yourself on Google and make a custom request to have DeleteMe remove any results about you. That doesn’t necessarily mean Google will honor requests, though it likely will if the information meets its removal requirements criteria.

When you conduct a search, DeleteMe displays a list of Google search results. You can then choose between “Keep This,” “Remove This,” and “Not Me.”

DeleteMe displays a list of Google search results

Masking

DeleteMe also offers email and phone masking services, with credit card masking coming soon at the time of this writing. Masked emails appear to be included in the standard plan, but masked phone numbers cost $7 each.  

Masking email, phone, card

Overall, the dashboard is colorful, extensive, and provides a lot of details. However, we believe it lacks important information such as links to pages containing your data and real-time removal status.

NOTE: Onerep’s dashboard displays all opt-out requests and their current status (pending, opt out requested, or removed). You don’t need to download a PDF to review progress, and we link to each data broker so you can verify that we found your true profile and that it was successfully removed.

DeleteMe’s quarterly activity reports

We received our first activity report seven days after signing up, and DeleteMe states they issue quarterly activity reports every 90 days.

Our report featured an introduction from our DeleteMe privacy advisor and a page that listed:

  • Last scan date
  • Total listings reviewed (note that this is not your actual listings found)
  • Number of listings removed
  • Number of data brokers with personal info
  • Total number of PII found (the number of personal details found across various brokers, not the number of profiles)
  • Data broker with the most information on us
  • Estimated time saved searching for profiles
  • Estimated time saved removing profiles

DeleteMe estimated they saved us 4.5 hours on both search and removal after 7 days, for a total of 9 hours saved.

Your privacy advisor

Next, the PDF features multiple pages of report findings for each data broker.

The removals in progress section lists:

  • Data broker names
  • Estimated removal times
  • Types of personal information exposed
  • Some, but not all, include links to your data broker profiles
Report Findings

After that, the report lists which sites they’ve removed your profiles from along with the next scan time. DeleteMe had removed us from 57 sites after seven days. However, as there are no links to some profiles, there’s no way to double check what exactly was deleted.

Report sites 411.com, advancedbackgroundcheck

The last page of the report features a $50 Amazon gift card referral offer and a “what’s next” section with the next report date.

NOTE: Onerep emails monthly reports, and you can check real-time progress at any time by logging into your dashboard.

Customer support

DeleteMe offers multiple support options, including a knowledge base, email, phone, and chat support. Support hours are 9 am to 8 pm EST Monday-Friday.

We tried the live chat feature and were greeted by a chatbot. When it couldn’t answer our question, the chatbot said it was connecting us to a live agent – but the agent never actually appeared.

That said, we found email support to be responsive, as they answered our questions within 15 minutes.

DeleteMe also lets you connect with your privacy advisor via your quarterly report and your dashboard, though they use the standard contact options rather than individual contact info of the advisor.

NOTE: Onerep likewise provides a knowledge base and email, chat, and phone support. Our customer support team is also available to help with complex cases.

Pros and cons of DeleteMe

DeleteMe prosDeleteMe cons
1. Search yourself feature (built-in Google search)

2. User-friendly dashboard and reports

3. Allows up to 40 custom data removal requests per year

4. Personal privacy advisor

5. Offers additional privacy protections such as email address masking (included) and phone number masking services ($7 each)
1. Limited number of sites covered by the standard plan

2. More expensive than other options

3. Lacks useful details in the dashboard (links to pages with your data, removal status, number of listings found and remaining)

4. Only sends quarterly progress reports

5. Only annual plans (no monthly plan)

6. No trial period

NOTE: In comparison, Onerep covers more data brokers than DeleteMe’s standard plan at a lower price. Our dashboard lets you see actual pages with your information, check the removal progress in real-time and we email progress reports monthly.

DeleteMe’s data handling practices and privacy concerns

DeleteMe states it does not sell personal information to third parties, and according to its security page it has security features to protect your data, including:

  • Compliance with AICPA SOC 2 Type II, GDPR, CCPA requirements, and other U.S. privacy laws
  • Encrypting data in transit and at rest (245-bit AES and TLS 1.2 encryption)
  • Optional two-factor authentication

However, DeleteMe also lists occasions in which they could share your information:

  • With data brokers during the removal process
  • With affiliates, such as DeleteMe’s corporate subsidiaries
  • With DeleteMe’s service providers (web analytics, database management services, etc.)
  • With business partners
  • With third-party platforms and social media networks (if you’ve enabled connections)
  • With DeleteMe’s professional advisors (lawyers, insurers, auditors, etc.)
  • To comply with legal government requests

DeleteMe also uses cookies to collect information about you, including your:

  • Device information
  • IP address
  • Websites you visit before DeleteMe
  • Location
  • Browsing activity on DeleteMe’s website

Note that DeleteMe does allow you to opt out of marketing communications, and you can opt out of some cookies on its trackers page.

Should you subscribe to the DeleteMe service?

Our DeleteMe review leads us to believe that DeleteMe does remove your personal information from data brokers and takes measures to protect your data online.

However, while DeleteMe says it removes information from more than 750 data brokers, the standard plan actually covers around 100 sites. The option to submit custom removal requests helps, but you need to find those listings yourself and you’re limited to 40 of such requests per year. 

The bottom line? DeleteMe is a comprehensive service and can certainly remove your data from a substantial number of websites. However, for better value and a more reliable way to reduce your exposure in search engines, we recommend Onerep. Onerep removes your information from 207 data broker websites at a much lower price than DeleteMe charges for removal from 100 sites. Moreover, with Onerep, you are twice as likely to reduce your exposure on Google simply because we eliminate your profiles on twice as many sites as DeleteMe.

FAQ

Is your information safe with DeleteMe?

DeleteMe employs 256-bit AES encryption and complies with SOC 2 Type II, GPDA, CCPA, and other U.S. privacy laws, and it states it will not sell your information to third parties. However, DeleteMe might share information such as your email address and phone number during the removal process, and its privacy page lists circumstances in which it could share your data with third parties.

How long does DeleteMe take to work?

DeleteMe begins working immediately, though some data brokers can take several weeks to remove your data. You’ll receive your first data removal report in seven days, then quarterly reports after that.

Does DeleteMe sell your data?

No, DeleteMe explicitly states it does not sell your personal data. However, there are occasions in which it might share your information with third parties.

What information does DeleteMe need?

DeleteMe requests a lot of information, including your name, contact details, gender, birthdate, government ID, family member names, and employment history. Some information is required, but you can skip your government ID, family members, and employment history.

photo 2023 08 10 20 12 45 Mikalai Shershan Chief Technical Officer at Onerep

Before becoming a technical lead, Mikalai was Onerep’s first developer. Back in 2015, he was among a small team of enthusiasts who started building Onerep, the first automated tool to bulk-remove people’s unauthorized profiles from the internet.

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