If you think your privacy is protected when you’re online, think again. The truth is, over 34% of adults feel that their data is vulnerable when on the Internet. But here’s an even more striking statistic: 83% of the top 100,000 websites that people visit also share their information with Google via Google Analytics. That means all of your searches and surfing are collected and stored by Google, who can then market that information and sell it to whomever they choose.
The fact is, your privacy on the Internet is becoming more and more compromised each day. That’s why there is a lot of discussion right now in Congress about regulating tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google and others. There are currently 34 million Internet users in the US, and in 2020, 21% of users were hacked. In addition, 11% of users were victims of data theft. You do the math and the numbers are staggering.
There are billions of dollars spent on online shopping, and it’s growing every year. Despite the fact that in 2020 consumers spent $861 billion in online purchases, which was up 44% from the previous year, 95% of consumers don’t trust online shopping ads, and 79% of online shoppers don’t think companies would take any responsibility for online privacy issues.
The biggest privacy concern is identity theft, which cost consumers $56 billion in 2020. One in 15 people have experienced identity theft in the US, which is a huge number. According to the Bureau of Justice, the most vulnerable groups for identity theft are the elderly, which grew by 25% over the past year, college students and children.
How to Protect Yourself
There is no single law in the US that protects your data and privacy, although some states have enacted their own laws. Not surprisingly, Google is the biggest source of information about people, whether the people want that information shared or not. Google stores all types of information about people that they gather from people search sites. In fact, the first thing you do when searching for someone is to Google their name. And 7 in 10 people come to people search sites by clicking a link in the Google search results.
Obviously, one way to protect yourself is to remove all the unauthorized links that Google stores about you in their database. But that’s a Herculean task. And not only do you have to remove the Google links, you have to remove all the unauthorized data stored about you in the people search sites.
Doing this is possible, but only if you have a lot of time to devote to the task. Here’s why: there are over 100 people search sites on the Internet, and each one has their own data sets and their own instructions and methods for removing your data. Doing this manually could become a full time job for you. And if hired someone with the technical knowledge to do it for you, it would cost you a fortune.
Fortunately, there is a way to do this automatically. There are several companies that have the ability to automatically remove your unauthorized personal data from people search sites: OneRep and BrandYourself. On the surface they may seem similar, as both promote their service with the ability to automatically scrub your information from people search sites. But there are some obvious differences in the two services, so how do you know which has the advantage?
As luck would have it, the Chief Technology Officer at OneRep decided to do a comparison between his company and BrandYourself, calling it OneRep vs. BrandYourself. It was fully transparent, as the CTO openly stated he worked for OneRep. But his comparison looked at key metrics that would openly and honestly determine which service was the better one for removing unauthorized data from over 100 people search sites and data broker sites. He let the statistics do the talking.
Ok, let’s start with the ability to remove your personal data from Google, since they’re the ones with the largest amount of direct links to people search sites. While BrandYourself is able to remove your personal information from over 25 sites, OneRep is able to remove your data from over 100 sites. The 25+ sites that BrandYourself could remove you from did not include Google, while the OneRep technology did. WINNER: OneRep
How is this possible? Remember, Google has links to people search sites, like BeenVerified, Spokeo and WhitePages. If you successfully remove your information from those people search sites, Google can then pull up other, lesser-known search sites. That’s where BrandYourself falters, because it can’t keep up with those lesser-known sites like SearchPeopleFree or CheckThem. But OneRep can. WINNER: OneRep
Here’s something else to consider: when scrubbing your personal data from people search sites, you have to be sure that it’s YOUR data that’s being removed, not someone else who just may happen to have the same or similar name as you. People search sites may contain old information, like old addresses, employers, etc. OneRep lets you enter as many previous addresses you need to make sure it’s accurately searching for you. The software technology that OneRep offers filters out these similar names and outdated information, whereas BrandYourself does not. So when it comes to accuracy that ensures it’s your data that’s being removed, WINNER: OneRep
Ok, so OneRep came out on top of BrandYourself when it came to accurately removing unauthorized personal data from all of those people search sites – and it did it automatically. But BrandYourself has its place – if you’re looking to boost your online reputation and build your online visibility, then BrandYourself is the one to choose. On the other hand, when you’re looking to delete your private records from people search sites, OneRep is the obvious choice.