Is Incogni worth it? Read on as I answer the question.
More than 5,000 data broker companies exist. What do they do? Well, they harvest your personal information — name, email, phone number, and others — and sell it to whoever is interested. If you’re unaware, data is the biggest commodity at the moment.
However, it’s not ideal that companies you don’t know are handling your data. No, it’s dangerous because you’re not in control of your privacy. Hackers and cybercriminals can access the information and exploit you in different ways.
As cybersecurity experts, we advise people to request and remove their personal data from broker sites. But it’s not easy to handle manually. You may not uncover all brokers with your information. And, if there are many, it will take a long time to delete your data from each one successfully.
Who says you should handle it manually, anyway? Not when platforms like Incogni are available. You can leverage the tool to remove your information from any broker website.
If you’re reading this, you want to know – is Incogni worth it? Does the tool really work, and should you pay? To provide answers, we’ll analyze Incogni's pros and cons. Read on.
Now, let me answer the question – Is Incogni worth it?
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Is Incogni Worth It?
Incogni is definitely worth it if you want an easy, automated way to scrub your personal data from data brokers. It's affordable, user-friendly, and continuously monitors for new threats. But overall, it's a powerful tool for reclaiming your online privacy.
The question is, does Incogni work in removing your data from broker websites? Undoubtedly, the platform does; not from one, two, or three, but from over 156 data brokers.
There's nothing left to do after you register an account, provide all necessary information, and sign approval. So, it’s also evident that Incogni is easy to use and saves time.
Furthermore, you get quick updates from your dashboard, which means Incogni doesn’t leave you in the dark. You can follow your removal requests from start to finish if you want.
What more? Incogni features moderate premium plans with discounts. The platform’s pricing is more affordable than many other data removal solutions.
We highlighted coverage, limited emails, and zero support for the dark web as downsides. However, there’s a workover for each.
As explained, Incogni can only operate in countries where it has legal backing. The dark web is anonymous, so it’s difficult to scan sites to find data. For limited emails, you can simply work with your name and ID details, which will likely stay the same.
Quick Overview of Incogni
Incogni is a service launched by Surfshark. At the moment, however, the platform is owned by Nord Security after a purchase in 2022. The change of ownership didn’t affect functionality, as Incogni remains a solution for removing details from data broker websites.
Incogni is a premium solution. No free trial is available, meaning you have to pay as you create an account. Afterward, you provide your personal details — which you want the service to look for and remove from broker sites. Then, you sign an approval form.
That’s all. Incogni will begin contacting data broker websites where your data appears and requesting deletion. You can track all requests from your dashboard and see which are under processing or completed.
Not all data brokers will comply. If that’s the case, Incogni can also take further action to get them to delete your data. And at every stage, you get updates.
What We Liked About Incogni
To know if Incogni is worth paying for, let’s consider what the service can do for you:
Protects Your Personal Data
First of all, Incogni works to protect your personal data from exploitation. It takes the upper hand away from third-party trackers, advertisers, and — most critically — hackers.
How does the tool do this? It’s simple. As stated already, it removes your data from broker sites.
Advertisers, for example, can contact data brokers to request people's info. That way, they can display more personalized ads that viewers will easily patronize. It’s a similar situation with trackers.
Considering hackers, well, the data broker website isn’t a fortress. Some even have poor security infrastructure that anyone can bypass. So, a skilled hacker can access your personal data by writing a couple lines of code.
You can prevent all these unfavorable events with Incogni. The best part is that the tool doesn’t just check once and relax. It stays active even after removing your details from the broker site. That way, you’ll know the second the data resurfaces.
Official Data Removal Requests
Incogni doesn’t get into data broker websites somehow and delete your information. Instead, the service officially requests data broker websites to remove your data. So, to you, the service is automatic. But, behind the scenes, an Incogni team member manually fills the request form.
This is an advantage because it ensures your application follows due process. Most data brokers put out notices for people to request data removals. And when they receive any, they keep their word.
Here’s an example from TruePeopleSearch:
As the image shows, you have to enter your name, email, and other details. Then, you select your profile from the displayed list. Finally, you click remove. It’s a similar process on many popular data broker websites, and Incogni follows the route.
How about data brokers that don’t have this feature? In that case, Incogni will deliver a removal request via email or other supported channels. Again, it’s a person issuing the requests and not a bot.
As previously explained, data brokers will remove your data if requested. But imagine finding your data on 1,000 websites. It'll be a challenging task to contact each one successfully. Even if it were just 100 data brokers, it still wouldn’t be easy.
Suppose you petition one broker per day; it’ll take you a hundred days. Contact two each day, and it’ll take fifty days. With Incogni, you can save time and focus on other tasks.
Incogni will handle the job from start to finish, contacting over 156 data brokers. All you have to do is log into your account from time to time and check the updates.
However, note that this doesn’t mean your data will be off broker websites in a few minutes or hours. Depending on the website, it will still take days, weeks, or even months. The bottom line is that the tool takes the task off your hands.
Your Incogni dashboard will feature a “Progress Update” section. From there, you can monitor the status of all data removal applications. This is an advantage as it ensures you’re not left in the dark.
Here’s a screenshot of what you get:
The sections are clear. “Request sent” signifies the number of data removal applications Incogni has delivered for all brokers.
Then, the “Requests in progress” count tells the number of applications still in the works. Meanwhile, the “Requests completed” signifies the number of successful data removals.
An important section to pay attention to is the “Action Required.” These are requests that the broker declined. In other words, your data is still on the website, signifying the need to take further actions to remove it.
Note that Incogni will offer concise advice on how to handle the situation. However, the ultimate solution is usually to report to relevant legal authorities.
Incogni requests your details for it to work. For instance, you have to provide your email, phone number, and other info that could be on a data broker website. Without this, the tool won’t know what to search for.
Your details are 100% safe when you submit them to Incogni. That’s because the platform works hand in hand with the law. In particular, Incogni conforms to privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA, UK GDPR, and PIPEDA.
Incogni employs this legal backing when requesting data brokers to remove your information. So, it’s easy for the websites to comply. Furthermore, working with the previously mentioned privacy laws implies that Incogni can offer services to countries that abide by them.
For instance, the CCPA allows Incogni to welcome US citizens; the GDPR, Euro residents; and the UK GDPR, UK nationals. Also, Incogni can work in Canada thanks to its supporting PIPEDA privacy laws.
You either pick a monthly or annual plan to use Incogni, and both are cost-effective. The monthly plan is $12.99, but the yearly option is $77.88.
Hence, paying per year means you save over 50% on the monthly plan.
You'll get a prompt to make payment as you create your Incogni account. There’s no free trial. However, the service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which protects your payment.
If you’re a student or graduate, you can get lesser pricing with Incogni. This adds to the platform being affordable. All you need to do is verify your studentship or graduate position with Student Beans.
The discount is 55% off the annual plan. In other words, rather than pay 77.88 each year, you’ll pay just around $35.
We’ve discussed the advantages you enjoy by using Incogni. Now, let’s look at some downsides to the service:
Incogni is only available in specific countries, including:
- European Union
From the above, it’s arguable that Incogni has extensive coverage. It’s available in 34 countries. However, the fact is that the platform isn’t global. So, it may not be available in your country.
However, Incogni provides a sensitive service that involves handling private information. Precaution is primary in such cases, so the platform follows different privacy laws. And for the same reason, Incogni cannot operate globally.
Incogni must get legal approval from associated data privacy regulators to support every country. Unfortunately, not all regions have such regulators, while others are not accessible.
So, while Incogni being limited to specific countries is a downside, the platform’s coverage is due to legal reasons.
Doesn’t Support the Dark Web
The dark web is notorious as a place where data transactions are frequent. Hackers sell the email, credit card, and other details they steal from victims to the highest bidder. Data brokers also do the same.
While Incogni can help remove your data from brokers on the regular internet, it can’t access brokers on the dark web. In other words, if your personal information lands on the dark web, you can use Surfshark Alert, another Surfshark product. This places the service below data removal services that scout the dark web.
You can only check for one data profile at a time with Incogni. This won’t be a problem for names, addresses, and ID details. However, for emails and phone numbers, it’s a significant downside.
You most likely have multiple email addresses, and you may have multiple phone numbers, too. Data brokers can have this information. The only workaround is to adjust your profile's email and phone number occasionally.
What Do Users Say About Incogni?
Not everyone will have the same experience using a solution. So, we checked user ratings and reviews to analyze different comments about Incogni.
We used Trustpilot:
Rating by TrustPilot users confirms Incogni is a “Great” service. The platform records 4.2 stars out of five on the review website, and here’s the breakdown:
The 5-star ratings comprise 56%, while 32% rated Incogni 4 stars. That’s 88%. Meanwhile, 1 to 3-star ratings were only 12% of the total.
Here’s what some users had to say about Incogni:
“Sign-up was quick and easy, and Incogni immediately got to work. Progress is simple to track, and the entire experience was seamless. It's reassuring to know that someone is looking out for you online when you don't have the time to make all the necessary contacts yourself.”
“Great service, but wish I could set more email addresses / old residential addresses.”
“It is truly terrifying how many companies sell your data. I am thrilled that incogni is doing something about it. It is an ongoing process, but I think it is making a difference.”
We’ve discussed the upsides and downsides of Incogni. Now, it’s time to make a decision. Is Incogni worth it? Is the tool worth paying for?
Based on our review, the answer is yes, Incogni is worth it.
Create an Incogni account if you reside in a supported country and take control of your privacy. The tool will ensure your personal data goes off data broker websites. Consequently, you stay safe from exploits by hackers and other malicious parties.