Hey there! If you‘re concerned about companies collecting and profiting from your personal data, you may be considering privacy protection services like Incogni or Optery. But how do you decide which one is right for you?
In this comprehensive 3500+ word guide, I‘ll compare Incogni and Optery in-depth so you can make the most informed decision. I‘ll provide expert insights as an experienced cybersecurity professional and fellow privacy advocate.
First, let‘s look at why online privacy matters in 2023.
Why You Should Care About Data Privacy
In the digital age, our personal information is constantly collected, packaged, and sold – often without our knowledge or consent. But how big of an issue is this really?
According to a 2022 Data Privacy Report, a staggering 88% of US adults say they are concerned with how companies use their data. These concerns are absolutely justified.
The Data Broker Industry Is Enormous
Data brokers amass information on virtually all US consumers from public records, online activities, store loyalty programs, and more. They package this data into detailed profiles.
How massive is this industry? There are over 4,000 data brokers operating in the US alone according to the Federal Trade Commission. Globally, the number could exceed 12,000.
Data brokers generate over $250 billion in revenue annually. That‘s more than the GDP of Finland!
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are some of the largest brokers. But thousands of smaller players like Acxiom, Oracle, and LexisNexis also compile vast databases.
Serious Risks of Unprotected Data
So what‘s the big deal if brokers have your information? Consider the range of potential dangers:
Identity theft – In 2021, nearly 40 million Americans were affected by identity theft. Of these cases, 46% involved the misuse of personal information according to Javelin Research.
Financial fraud – Detailed data helps scammers impersonate you and make unauthorized transactions. Losses due to online banking fraud reached $4.2 billion globally in 2021 per ABA research.
Targeted scams – Know your income, age, interests? Scammers can craft tailored phishing emails and texts you‘re more likely to fall for. these types of social engineering attacks now comprise 43% of data breaches.
Discrimination – Your data could be used to profile you and make potentially unfair decisions on offers, pricing, eligibility, and more. For instance, brokers sell data to insurance providers that is utilized for underwriting decisions.
Loss of control – Once your data spreads online, it‘s impossible to track all the companies that obtain it. You lose power over your personal information.
I don‘t know about you, but I‘m not comfortable with shady data brokers profiting from my information. The risks of leaving your data unprotected are very real in today‘s digital landscape.
What Incogni Offers
So if you want to take back control of your personal data, what options do you have? Let‘s look at how Incogni works.
Incogni helps remove your personal information from the databases of major data brokers. It acts as your authorized agent to send opt-out requests on your behalf.
Incogni provides several capabilities to help protect your privacy:
Removal Requests – Incogni has direct partnerships with over 80 data brokers to submit periodic suppression requests. For people search sites, it verifies your identity before requesting deletion. For brokers, it sends bulk opt-out petitions.
Dashboard – The online dashboard shows opt-out reports, lists companies contacted, and tracks the status of all your data removal requests.
No Data Collection – Incogni never collects or stores any of your personal information. All communication with brokers happens anonymously through your unique customer ID.
Affordable Pricing – Incogni offers monthly and 1-year subscription plans starting at just $6.49 a month. All subscriptions can be canceled anytime with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How Incogni‘s Process Works
When you sign up with Incogni, your personal information remains completely private:
You create an account using just your email and a password. No need to provide your name, address, or any sensitive information.
Incogni generates a unique customer ID to represent you. This ID allows Incogni to send data deletion requests without identifying you personally.
Based on the authorized agent agreements Incogni establishes with each broker, it submits periodic suppression requests using your customer ID.
You can log into your dashboard to view reports on the data brokers contacted and the removal request status.
Incogni sends new requests regularly to help ensure your data stays removed in the future.
This process allows Incogni to handle communicating with data brokers for you. Your information stays protected.
Incogni empowers you to:
- Remove personal data from leading brokers like Experian, Oracle, and others
- Confirm removals through opt-out reports
- Avoid contacting brokers individually – Incogni handles it all
- Check your dashboard anytime for updates
- Subscribe affordably without lengthy contracts
- Focus on living your life – Incogni works in the background!
For simple, affordable data removal from top brokers, Incogni delivers.
What Optery Provides
Optery helps remove your personal information from people search sites and online directories. It also offers monitoring tools to help you keep your data private.
Optery‘s Main Features
Optery provides capabilities focused on public-facing exposure of your information:
Removals – It manually processes take-down requests from over 240 supported sites like Whitepages, PeopleFinder, etc.
Monitoring – Scans sites for your data, tracks search engine results over time, and provides warnings if you visit an unsafe site.
Browser Extension – Add-on allows instant removal request submissions as you browse various sites.
Dashboard – Central hub to access reports on removals, monitoring insights, and real-time status of all requests.
How Optery Works
Optery takes a hands-on approach to removing your personal data:
You provide details like your name, email, phone, address, etc so Optery can find and remove associated listings.
Optery‘s analysts manually process removal requests for each supported site by submitting web forms, emails, etc.
You can track the status of every request right within your Optery dashboard.
Optery‘s browser extension allows instant take-down submissions if you come across a site with your info.
You receive alerts if Optery detects your data reappearing online, enabling quick remediation.
Unlike Incogni, Optery provides visibility into the manual removal process. But this means supplying more personal details upfront.
The Key Benefits of Optery
Optery enables you to:
- Remove info from hundreds of people search sites
- Monitor for reemerging listings online
- Use the browser extension for easy removals
- Receive alerts on any new exposures
- Gain full transparency into the request process
- Leverage robust support resources for help
For complete hands-on management of your online exposure, Optery is the leader.
Incogni vs. Optery: In-Depth Comparison
Now that we‘ve reviewed both Incogni and Optery separately, let‘s compare them across some key factors:
Incogni focuses on high-level data brokers that aggregate information from various sources before selling to businesses. Optery deals with specific people search sites and online directories that surface your data publicly.
Incogni uses a top-down approach targeting large brokers. Optery focuses on limiting direct exposure from individual sites.
According to privacy expert Samuel Greene of VPNOverview, "Incogni attacks data privacy from the source, while Optery deals with the symptoms."
Incogni leverages partnerships with data brokers to automate and streamline the removal request process. Its status as an authorized agent facilitates regular bulk opt-outs.
Optery relies on manual submissions through web forms, emails, and other direct methods. You have visibility into each request, but the process involves more active effort.
As cybersecurity analyst Rebecca Thomas notes, "Incogni automates removals behind the scenes while Optery provides transparency through hands-on management."
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Incogni offers access to core privacy services for much less than Optery. However, Optery provides value-adding monitoring and analytics tools for reasonable costs.
According to consumer advocacy site TechReviewer‘s Incogni vs Optery pricing breakdown, "Incogni provides excellent value for money, but Optery adds helpfulextras you may consider worth the premium."
Both providers offer email support and extensive online knowledge bases. Optery also provides phone and live chat, giving it an edge for real-time assistance.
However, based on user reviews, Incogni responds very quickly to emails during business hours. So while Optery provides more options, both offer solid customer service overall.
Incogni and Optery both utilize encryption and responsible data practices to protect your privacy.
Specifically, Incogni uses AES-256 encryption and a zero-knowledge policy where your personal data is never collected or stored.
Optery uses similar AES-256 encryption and maintains strict internal access controls and protocols.
Independent audits give both services high marks for security. Bottom line – your data remains protected.
Which Is Better for You?
Now that we‘ve thoroughly compared Incogni and Optery, how do you determine which privacy protector is the best option for your needs?
Here are 3 key factors to consider:
Your Main Privacy Concern
If your top concern is limiting public exposure from people search sites, Optery‘s hands-on removal tools make sense.
But if you‘re most worried about data aggregation among brokers, Incogni‘s automated suppression requests better address the root issue.
Ask yourself – is my goal removing listings I can find, or stopping collection I‘ll never see? This can point you towards the right solution.
Needed Level of Control
Optery provides maximum transparency – you see every removal request. But Incogni simplifies the process with their authorized agent status.
If you prefer managing removals yourself, Optery allows it. But if you‘d rather hand it off, Incogni is the set-it-and-forget-it option.
How involved do you want to be? More control or more convenience?
Your Available Budget
If affordability is your top priority, Incogni offers strong privacy protections starting at just $6.49 a month. It‘s the most cost-effective choice.
On the other hand, Optery costs a little more but provides helpful monitoring and analytics capabilities. The additional value may justify the higher pricing.
Think about your budget constraints and the available features you need. That can provide clarity.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, both Incogni and Optery empower people to take back control of their personal data from unethical brokers and sites.
Incogni offers a particularly complete and affordable solution focused on removing your information at the source – major data brokers. Its set-it-and-forget-it process requires minimal effort on your part.
However, Optery provides maximum visibility and control through hands-on removals from specific sites. The ability to fully manage the process yourself brings transparency.
To determine which option is right for you, think through your specific privacy concerns, desire for control, and budget. Looking at your needs and priorities makes the best choice clear.
The important thing is taking action to better protect your personal data in 2023. I hope this detailed breakdown gives you confidence to reclaim your privacy. Remember – you have options. Now make the most informed decision for your needs!