Disclosure: I am not affiliated with OneRep. One did give me a 1-year family subscription for the purposes of my fair and honest review. This review is unbiased and based on my personal experience with OneRep. I also cannot and do not provide support or assistance in removing your data from data brokers or for OneRep. If you have any issues with OneRep, please contact them directly.
There is an increasing number of websites that scrape and sell your personal information. I’m not going to link to them but sites like BeenVerified, Spokeo, Radaris, and others collect, publish, and then attempt to sell your personal data to anyone with a credit card. I loathe these sites and that’s not even a strong enough word. I would go so far as to say data scrapers suck (John Oliver agrees that data brokers suck, see this video). If you have already watched the John Oliver data broker segment and want to remove your personal information from data brokers, then read on!
Data brokers use loopholes in the law and the lack of Federal Privacy regulation in the US to exploit your personal data. What’s worse, is they make it difficult (almost impossible) to correct or remove your personal information, requiring searching, copying links, authenticating emails or text messages, and more just to get your information removed. If you care about privacy, getting less spam email and phone calls, are being harassed by someone, etc. then you need to stop your information from being sold by others for profit. Entering the space to help solve this problem is OneRep, a company that promises to find, track, and automatically remove your personal data on sites where it is being sold
What is OneRep?
In simple terms, OneRep is a tool for automatically removing your personal information and data from data scrapers, data brokers, data aggregators. The best way to think about it is OneRep is like antivirus software. Each month it scans 100+ data scrapers and brokers and will request removal on your behalf. OneRep is constantly working in the background (hence the antivirus analogy) and, in some sense, is a good personal privacy practice like running antivirus on your computer keeps you protected from current and new threats. If you’re wondering can your data re-appear on sites that sell your information? Yes, because these companies, despite their claims, do not respect privacy and anytime they find new data about you they will publish it and sell it.
It’s important to note that OneRep is a tool/service for removing your personal information from data brokers. It is not a reputation management service. What’s the difference? Removal will get your personal information off BeenVerified, Spokeo, etc. Reputation management is about creating and publishing content to bury negative information about you that appears in search results. The fact that OneRep doesn’t offer reputation management is not a negative, just keep in mind that if some website has written up a story or published photos of some embarrassing incident, OneRep can’t help with that (and honestly most companies that claim to be able to do so overstate how realistic this is).
OneRep operates out of the US (California and Virginia) with an R&D team in Belarus and was founded in 2015. OneRep is a paid service. In my experience, OneRep works and is worth the subscription. Read on for the full review.
Review: Removing Your Personal Information from Data Brokers with OneRep
Getting started with OneRep to remove your personal information from the web is straightforward. On the OneRep website, put in your full name (no middle name needed) and hit check. It will ask to clarify what state you’re from and then it will start searching to see where your name and personal information is being sold. The initial OneRep scan checks 97 websites for your personal information. One Rep will then tell you how many records it found, then ask for your email address – which starts the account creation process. You will get an email to verify your account and when you log in you will see a page that shows something like this:
When I was doing this review, I waited 24 hours before taking a screenshot (my bad) and OneRep had already removed my data from 9 sites. It won’t always be that fast, data brokers don’t remove immediately – so you will need to be patient. But the above gives you a good sense of how things work, you see:
- Profiles Found: websites that have your profile data (sites may appear twice here, more on that later)
- Potential Sites: websites that sell data but don’t have your data
- Removal in Progress: websites where OneRep is removing your data
- Removed: websites where OneRep has removed your data
There is a little inconsistency across all of the numbers OneRep shows you, as the initial scan is 97 sites; the website says it removes from 106; and the report says 242 – I think this is just a coding inconsistency. OneRep does publish a full list of sites that they can remove you from here.
What I personally discovered from my scans is that OneRep has more sites in its database than I knew. The other thing is that some websites have your profile multiple times. This is why in “Profiles Found” you may see the site multiple times.
Why? Some websites will list multiple addresses for every place you have ever lived, or they list your name under various alternatives e.g. David and Dave. What’s worse, these multiple records make it harder for you to manually remove your data; and the data brokers spam the search results of Google, Bing, etc. harming genuine and quality information about you e.g. Linked In profiles. Did I mention I really loathe data brokers? Might as well remind you of that!
If you sign up for the family plan, you can add multiple people to your household account (max 6). The family plan scan will scan for everyone at the same time in bulk. This streamlines removal and management. OneRep does require you to confirm everyone’s name, DOB, city, street, and optionally phone numbers and optionally upload some personal photo ID. I have some personal anxiety about some of this so didn’t upload a photo ID. Why does OneRep need a photo ID? It’s because some of the data scrapers demand it (again, this is why data brokers suck). OneRep was able to remove my data without a photo ID, but your mileage may vary depending on which data broker is selling your data.
One Rep Tip – Aliases
One of the advanced settings I like about OneRep is you can add an alias and multiple addresses. The alias feature is particularly useful as it means if you’re known as David, Dave, or Dave Jr – you can add them all under your profile and OneRep will find them all. Aliases don’t count as multiple identities, so it’s 6 family members (self-included) and aliases plus family members. Aliases are really useful for finding and weeding out all the places your data can pop up without your permission.
Tip: Make sure you put an alias as first initial last name as an alias. e.g. if you are David Smith, make sure you put D Smith, as well as Dave Smith. Data brokers suck and they will hide your details under aliases of just the first initial in your name. Honestly, data brokers suck. I do wish OneRep would search for standard aliases automatically.
It’s worth knowing that OneRep will scan for updates (new data, deletions, etc) every month. You can’t do a manual scan. This makes sense, as I am guessing they don’t want OneRep blocked by the companies that are stealing and selling your information. And since some brokers can take several weeks to remove the data, rescanning is more likely to do more harm than good.
One small issue I ran into, unique to me, is that OneRep only works for US addresses and people. I am in the US but have lived overseas and some of the global data scraping sites have me listed in other countries. OneRep currently doesn’t let you enter an international address for clean up, or seems to detect non-US profiles. I hope they can fix this in a future update. That said, it’s not a dealbreaker as other countries, namely most of Europe, have strong privacy laws that protect you anyway.
Does OneRep Work and is OneRep Accurate?
Yes. In my tests, across the entire family, OneRep works. It found sites I didn’t know had my data. I checked the accuracy of OneReps claims by searching on the data broker sites myself – so I absolutely know it’s honest. It also lists all of the sites it has scanned, so you know where your data is but also where your data isn’t. OneRep did successfully remove my data from various data brokers, as well as that of several family members.
OneRep does claim to remove your information from Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. This is kind of a half-truth. What OneRep does is remove your data from data brokers who spam the search indexes with your name and details. Once your name is removed from a data broker, then, theoretically, it should no longer appear in the data broker spam that pollutes search engines when they update their index. That can take days, weeks, or months and is another reason why data brokers suck because data brokers could fix this by submitting index removal requests but they don’t. Just keep this in mind, because if there is a negative story or other content on the web, like on non-broker websites, and you don’t want people to see it, OneRep may not be what you want, and instead you will need a reputation management service. Which is something completely different, complicated, and honestly requires serious money to do properly.
One of my favorite things about OneRep is they are honest. An unnamed competitor (
BrandYourself) which I have tried sent me emails that misrepresented where my personal information was appearing. I knew the claims were demonstrably false because I independently checked and found no personal data. As a result, I deleted my account. OneRep’s honesty is a big plus for me.
Update May 2022
Google has introduced a tool to remove some of your personal data from search results. It’s available worldwide and seems to be intended to stop sensitive personal information from appearing in searches, you can find the Google sensitive information removal tool here. This tool won’t get brokers to stop stealing your information, but it’s worth knowing that it exists.
Is OneRep Removal of Personal Information Fast?
Yes, but there are things to keep in mind that are beyond OneRep’s control. OneRep will find and requests the removal of your data. Any delay in the fast removal of data is the fault of data brokers and data scrapers who move at their own speed. In my tests, OneRep was able to get my data removed from ~8 data brokers in under 24 hours, but some data scrapers will take up to 30 days because that’s the data broker policy. This is why I loathe data brokers because they profit from your information, even if it’s inaccurate, and if you request removal some of them move at the speed of a sloth (SocialCatFish sucks in this regard, they take weeks to remove your data). That said, one of the benefits of OneRep is that because it monitors and tracks progress – you know where you stand in the removal process. Which makes OneRep better than trying to manually track and remove your data. Or in other words, OneRep is easier and much faster than removing your data manually by yourself.
Thoughts on the OneRep Free Trial / OneRep Free Scan
At the time of writing, OneRep offers a five (5) day free trial. There is no credit card required to use the trial.
The OneRep free trial will do a scan and show you who and where your personal data is appearing and being sold. The OneRep free trial will also remove your data from some, but not all, of the sites where OneRep finds your data. It’s a soft sell to encourage you to upgrade to a paid plan. The best thing I can say about the OneRep Free Trial is it gives you a sense of whether you need OneRep and have data on a lot of sites or just 1 or 2.
I am guessing that most people and families would be similar to me, which is you do a OneRep Free Scan for your entire family you will be shocked to see how many places have your personal information and want to subscribe to OneRep to clean up the privacy nightmare. I will say the OneRep five (5) day trial may not be enough to get and track your data being removed, because some brokers take much longer than that to action any request (blame the broker not OneRep).
One Rep Personal vs OneRep Family Plan
Annual pricing on the OneRep Personal plan is $8.33 a month/$99.95 a year vs OneRep Family Plan $15.00 a month/$179.95 a year. The Family Plan covers up to 6 people, which is enough to clean up online personal information of the average family and that of your parents. I recommend the OneRep Family plan because, at the very least, you should make sure you’re removing personal information for yourself and your partner. If you’re single, then I’d still recommend the Family Plan and adding your parents. As, unfortunately, parents and grandparents tend to have their data both appearing more frequently and are more likely to have that data targeted in online scams.
Alternatives to OneRep
There are two (2) alternatives to OneRep.
The first is to manually remove your data. You could use the OneRep free trial or manually go to each website and maintain an excel spreadsheet to track and remove your data. This is painful and slow, and data brokers will actively make your life a misery in the process. Requiring you to copy URLs, verify removal by clicking on email addresses or via SMS codes – and damned if I want to give people who, I feel, are stealing my data any more of my personal information because I don’t think they can be trusted to begin with. Finding out how to manually remove your personal information is also a nightmare – fortunately OneRep offers a free Wiki with details on how to remove your data from 106 data brokers.
Yes, you can remove your data manually but I would not recommend it unless you have a lot of time on your hands and are happy to send data brokers your personal data in the process. Also, worth knowing data brokers may re-add your data after you remove it, scraping it from another location – so manual checks and removals will become something you need to do regularly.
Another alternative to OneRep is a company called BrandYourself. I do not like or recommend BrandYourself. In my experience, BrandYourself misrepresents where your personal information may be appearing in results. I actually got into a heated debate with BrandYourself because they listed my data as being on websites where I both knew and had verified that my data did not exist. So while BrandYourself may be an alternative to OneRep, I would not call them a reasonable alternative and do not recommend them.
One more common alternative is LifeLock, I would not recommend LifeLock.
All of this means, realistically, you either do it manually which will take several hours and a few weeks of monitoring, plus ongoing monitoring to ensure your data hasn’t reappeared; or you subscribe to OneRep.
- easy (no need to do captcha, click links)
- fast and accurate
- free trial (5 days)
- no credit card is required for the initial scan
- tracks progress of removals
- keeps your email private from brokers
- monitors for new occurrences
- supports alias names (e.g. if you’re known as David and Dave, OneRep can search across both names)
- can manage across your family
- may seem pricey (but OneRep is much cheaper than competitors)
- you need to manually enter aliases that data brokers use, including “first initial last name”
- only works for US addresses and people
- paid subscription needed for automatic removal
- removal only, no reputation management
- doesn’t check for data breaches (try the free HaveIbeenpwned to check for breaches)
Is OneRep Worth It?
Yes. In my tests, especially for the OneRep Family Plan, OneRep works and is definitely worth it – the scans are fast, they are transparent in where they “find” data, and OneRep did remove my personal information from data brokers.
As someone who loves and values privacy, OneRep is also infinitely easier than manually searching for and removing your data. So while, yes, you can DIY and remove your data for free, the increasing number of companies that steal and profit from your personal information makes OneRep a necessary tool to protect your privacy. If you’re after other ways to protect your privacy, I have written a summary here.
PS. If you have a website learn how to remove your information from the Internet Archive here.
Finally, is there a OneRep Discount Code?
At the time of writing, there is no OneRep Discount Code or OneRep referral code. If that changes, I will update this post.
Reminder: In full disclosure, I am not affiliated with OneRep. One did give me a 1-year family subscription for the purposes of my fair and honest review. This review is unbiased and based on my personal experience with OneRep. I also cannot and do not provide support or assistance in removing your data from data brokers or for OneRep.