Home > 2012 > Identity Theft > The Data-Free Existence: Is It Possible?

The Data-Free Existence: Is It Possible?

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With more public institutions and private companies collecting data about customers, it’s no surprise that Americans are trying to tighten up their presence on the Web.

After all, there’s a lot of random data out there that, once combined, can paint a pretty vivid picture for scammers, legitimate companies and anyone else who’s willing to pay for it. That’s where a new site comes in.

I recently stumbled across Safe Shepherd, a company that is touting its ability to get your personal information erased from some of the Internet data hoarders. Wanting to see how the system worked, I signed up. Here’s the scoop on how it worked for me.

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Free Credit Check & MonitoringThe great part of Safe Shepherd is that the site gives consumers free access. This allows you to see some of the records being sold online that contain info about you. Safe Shepherd found four records that I could have removed with my free membership to the site. The data about me ranged from public records to information that Web trackers had logged about me and was all easily removable with one click. The company then sends an email to the user when that info had been removed.

But that’s not the end of the story. Safe Shepherd also offers premium services that promise to track any data being sold about you online and stop it — in pursuit of a data-free online existence.

While the free version of the product took my “Safety Rating” from 10% to 36%, there were still 17 advanced records that were being sold about me online. The way to remove these products? Sign up for a premium membership. I have to admit, it was quite a tempting offer. For $65 a year or $14 a month, you can sign up for this option and Safe Shepherd will proactively search for information about you and send you alerts allowing you to have your data removed.

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I appreciated the simple signup on the site and the lack of pressure to upgrade. While Safe Shepherd may be trying to make a buck off of helping consumers erase their online footsteps, they also seem to be on a mission to empower consumers to take control of their data. The company is also campaigning legislators to stop stalkers from obtaining access to their victims’ personal information through online data companies.

Overall, the Safe Shepherd free membership is a great tool to eliminate even just a small part of your online presence, and the full membership may be worth it as well. If you’ve tried the premium membership, weigh in on what you think of the service in our comments section!

Image: Screenshot via Safe Shepherd

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