Take control of your identity with these online tools

online privacy login

We’ve all heard that technologies like Do Not Track, anonymization software like Tor, and online tracker blocker browser plugins like Ghostery are essential tools for protecting your privacy on the Web. And they are. But unless you’ve never had a Facebook account, never used any Google products, avoid all Web-based email services, and have used the privacy tools listed above since the first time you ever opened a Web browser, there is likely a mountain of your personal data already available to the various companies that make truckloads of cash off your information.

Fortunately, there are a number of services that offer ways to cover your tracks, and regain control over your online self. Here, we’ll explore a few of these options, so you can decide which is the best for you and your budget.

1. MyPrivacy

MyPrivacy 1

What it is: The MyPrivacy service from Reputation.com finds your private data located on “dozens” of online data broker services, such as Spokeo, Intellus, and PeopleSmart, then goes through the laborious process of having your information deleted from their databases. It also continuously monitors these data brokers, and makes sure that additional data that gets added is promptly removed.

What it costs: MyPrivacy will run you about $100 for a one-year membership, $150 for two years, and $250 for five years. However, if you call or chat with a Reputation.com agent, you can probably snag a better deal. (They offered me two years for $130 during a brief online chat with a sales representative.)

2. DeleteMe


What it is: Created by Abine, the DeleteMe service is nearly identical to MyPrivacy. A team at Abine locates your profiles on data broker websites, then forces them to delete your data by sending them opt-out requests. Also like MyPrivacy, DeleteMe continuously monitors these companies, and has all additional personal information about you removed. The primary selling point for DeleteMe is the number of online data broker services it targets: 53, at the time of this writing.

What it costs: Abine offers a number of DeleteMe subscriptions: $100 for a single year, for one person; $160 for two years for a single person; $180 for a single year, for two people; and $270 for two years, for two people. As a bonus, Abine also makes the Do Not Track Plus browser plugin, which is free — and you can get it without paying for a DeleteMe subscription.

3. MoneyForMyData

Money for My Data

What it is: MoneyForMyData is an entirely different product from MyPrivacy and DeleteMe. In fact, you could say that it is the exact opposite kind of product — a data broker. Rather than removing your personal data from data broker websites, MoneyForMyData allows you to build and maintain your own online data profile, and claim your data as your own property. You can update your profile with new information, add additional data through “surveys,” and correct old information that may be out-of-date (or just wrong).

But that’s not all. As the name implies, MoneyForMyData then allows you to sell your data to other companies. You can choose which companies you’d like your data sold to, or not to have your data sold at all. Unlike other data broker services, however, MoneyForMyData pays you anytime your data is purchased. (The company also takes a cut, of course.)

What it costs: Nothing — in fact, MoneyForMyData pays you. That said, it’s not exactly clear at the moment how much money one can assume to make by participating in MoneyForMyData. We have contact the company, and will update this space as soon as we have more information. Furthermore, MoneyForMyData will not protect your privacy — it will make your private information even more readily available. Still, if you’re not going to use one of the two aforementioned privacy products listed above, you might as well make some money off of it. Everybody else is.

Other resources

So these are a few of the services available to help you take control of your data. However, if you really want to clean up your online presence, you’ll need to do quite a bit more to get everything in check. Check out this piece to see how the top 100 websites are collecting your data, as well as how to opt-out from the worst offenders. Abine has created a meticulous how-to for further deleting information about you from the Web. We also recommend this guide for removing yourself from background check site BeenVerified, and this ZDNet article for further information about getting your data removed from people search site. Users of Apple’s iOS 6 can see how to beef up privacy settings here. And check out how to lock down your Facebook privacy here.

Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some cash

Philo is an affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support, unlimited DVR, and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.