IDX Privacy has a solid suite of features to help protect your online privacy. It also guarantees identity theft recovery, although that’s beyond the scope of our testing.
Of course you want to protect your privacy, but that can mean a lot of different things. Preventing snoops from sniffing your conversations and online activities is one way, as is preventing snoops from collecting your personal information. Privacy means many things, and IDX Privacy protects your privacy in a variety of ways, including helping with identity theft recovery and insuring against identity theft loss. It’s an excellent collection of identity theft prevention features. That’s what we’ve tested here, and that’s our 4-star rating. It also includes a promise to remediate if prevention fails, although we cannot test that promise as it would require the use of actually compromised identities.
The IDX data protection service is $ 79. 95 a year or $ 9. 95 per month with both prices reduced for new members. LifeLock’s standard service costs a little more, $ 11. 95 per month or $ 124. Currently 99 per year. IDShield is $ 13. 95 per month, but doubling that rate gets you credit and identity theft tracking for all family members, up to 10 people.
LifeLock and IDShield have a strong focus on eliminating identity theft, while IDX Privacy has a stronger focus on VPN protection, ad and tracker blocking, and social media monitoring. Like IDX Privacy, Abine Blur Premium gathers a number of different privacy policies, although there isn’t much overlap between the two. Blur costs $ 39 a year. Abine’s DeleteMe aims to delete your personal information from public data aggregators, much like the Forget Me component of IDX Privacy. DeleteMe is a little more expensive at $ 129 a year.
This service does a lot and offers newcomers a tour of the most important functions. You can skip the tour and dive right in if you prefer. And the tour is available later in case you change your mind.
When you log into IDX Privacy, the first thing you will see is your IDX score. This changes as you use the different data protection components. Scroll down this window to view and interact with the various components. These are: Forget Me Personal Information Removal; Tracking blocker; Private search; SocialSentry; CyberScan; Password detective; and secure WiFi. I’ll discuss these in detail below.
On the Dashboard tab you get a list of the warnings and active services. I have found from experience that you will likely receive a lot of warnings right after starting IDX Privacy.
The Account Information tab allows you to enter some simple personal information. Here you can also change your associated e-mail, set a new password or activate two-factor authentication. To set up two factors, catch a QR code with Google Authenticator or an equivalent authentication app. You will then need both your password and an authentication code to log in.
On the final tab, Data Center, enter all of the personal, financial, and medical information that IDX Privacy’s CyberScan should track. This is different from the personal information on the account page.
Adding personal information is just a bit of a hassle. You click a button to add new data, click to select the type of data (driver’s license, email address, passport, phone number or social security number), click the Select button, enter the data, type a label for the data and click Submit. Phew!
You can only enter a driver’s license or SSN. For the other personal data types you will get 10 entries. You can enter five credit card or bank accounts under Financial Data and 10 medical IDs under Medical Data.
The similar Dark Web Monitoring feature in Norton 360 Deluxe is a little more generous. A driver’s license and the mother’s maiden name, 10 bank accounts and credit cards as well as five telephone numbers, addresses, insurance IDs and e-mail addresses are recorded.
Once you have entered data here, IDX Privacy will examine data breach dumps and other dark web sources for evidence that your data has been compromised. If you click the red warning icon next to an item found on the dark web, you will get a detailed report of what happened.
The dark web isn’t the only place where your personal information can be found online. There are tons of legitimate websites whose job it is to find and aggregate publicly available personal data. Since they are legitimate, they must allow people not to sift their data and sell it. IDX Privacy automates the opt-out process for dozens of such websites.
Getting started is easy. Just enter your name, address and date of birth and start a scan. When I used an address I owned for 25 years, the scan found nearly 50 instances of personal information on websites from phone books. com to verify umarrestwarrant. com and immediately started the removal process.
While the scan is fast, the removal does not occur. The main IDX page shows you how many removals are in progress and how many have been completed. If you click on either website, the affected websites will be listed. However, the « Completed Transactions » list contains a disclaimer that can take anywhere from two weeks to several months to complete. Also note that a bug in the reporting means that the sum of moves in progress and moves completed may not match the total originally shown. A fix is in the works.
By default, IDX Privacy repeats this removal step every month. This is important because while disabling it removes data that is currently in the aggregator’s database, it does not prevent the site from collecting your data again. If you’d like to control this process manually, just click Stop Automatic Removal.
This service is almost identical to the one you get with a subscription to Abine DeleteMe. The stated reason DeleteMe costs so much more is because the opt-out process requires human intervention for some of the sites it covers. According to my IDX contact, IDX Privacy does not require human intervention, which saves significant costs. « Many of these websites have unique, obscure, multi-step opt-out processes, » he noted. “We have found a way to reduce this complex process to a single push of a button. ”
For you, the Internet is a service and a source of information and entertainment. For internet advertisers, you are a product. The more they know about you and your online habits, the more valuable a product you become. To maximize your value as a commodity, advertisers do their best to keep track of your browsing habits and interests.
If that sounds creepy, you can set your browser to automatically send the official « Don’t Track » header whenever you interact. Good idea, but trackers can ignore this toothless header. To really thwart trackers, an active Do Not Track system is required, like the tracker blocker in this suite.
This is a common feature for security suites and for feature-rich antivirus tools. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky Internet Security come to mind. Privacy tools like Abine Blur and Ghostery Midnight also block trackers.
Most security companies have no limits on their tracker blocking extension. Some even provide this feature separately as a free download. IDX Privacy differs from most in that it restricts the use of its tracker blocker. You can install it on three devices. A registration key in the online console is required for activation. The extension supports Chrome and Edge, while others often support Firefox, Internet Explorer, and even Opera. Also note that after installation you have to activate the tracker blocker and the associated ad blocker actively.
When you visit a webpage that contains trackers, the extension will overlay the number of trackers found on the toolbar button. Clicking the button will give you a collection of statistics. However, you will only see how many trackers have been blocked in different situations. You can’t get a list of the actual trackers or exempt certain trackers from blocking like many competing tools. However, you can exempt certain pages from being blocked.
Likewise, the Ad Blocker page shows statistics about the number of ads blocked, but not details about the ads blocked. Most ad blockers will give you more detail, although ShieldApps Cyber Privacy Suite has similar limitations as this product.
The biggest tech companies know pretty much everything about your life. You can scratch data from every online interaction, purchase, tweet, and so much more. And every time you use one of the major search engines, give them more information about your interests. It is for this reason that data protection officers avoid the big names and use search engines that promise not to sell or otherwise use your information.
With IDX Privacy, you can easily start a private search by scrolling down, entering your search terms and clicking Private Search. However, if you do, you will be in for a little surprise. The results are not from IDX, but from the popular private search site DuckDuckGo. It may be more convenient to go straight to DuckDuckGo and start your search.
For some of us, half the fun of a life event comes from sharing that event on social media. The social media giants, in turn, soak up what we share so they can better profile us. There are a few things everyone should be doing to make these websites, especially Facebook, more private. Start by making your posts invisible to the general public.
With other social sites, you might want everyone to see what you post. Twitter would have little impact if only friends could see your tweets. The original purpose of LinkedIn was to connect with people you didn’t already know. And so on. Nevertheless, your profiles on these websites can be abused.
Enter IDX’s SocialSentry. To start with, you give this component permission to access your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts. I found it slightly ironic that in order to get protection on Facebook I had to break the restriction on third-party apps and games, a restriction I put in place to improve my privacy. My contact at IDX indicated that the average Facebook user does not disable this sharing platform and they are probably right.
As part of the set up process, include your name and any nicknames you use on social media. When you connect to your social sites, you will find that this protection is from a third party ZeroFox.
After joining SocialSentry, I received numerous notifications on many topics, all of which turned out to be false. A tweet with the phrase “malware versus steroids” was flagged for drugs. IDX described the VPN product Hide My Ass (now called HMA) as « bad, crude or explosive language ». The Facebook post that mentions the creator of the & Order law, Dick Wolf, as being sexually explicit. And so on.
This plethora of false positives is compounded by the way IDX displays privacy notifications. You’ll see a long list of the reason, social website, and date for each alert. However, you have to open each one one at a time to see what triggered the notification and manually click to archive the ones that are not relevant. Make an effort to plow through the initial storm of warnings. Once you have done this, you can pay proper attention to future warnings.
Shortly after you signed up for the service, you entered a collection of personal, financial, and medical information. That’s all you have to do. The rest lies with IDX data protection.
The service continuously scans the dark web, violating data images and other websites that shouldn’t store your private data. If there is a problem, you will be notified by email and notification in the online console. Chances are you’re getting your first flurry of notifications. If you are serious about protecting your identity, you will consider it carefully.
What to do if privacy is compromised depends on the type of data. The only thing you can do with a compromised credit card is to notify the issuer, close the account, and get a new one. If any of your emails appear in Data on a Violated Site, either cancel your account on that site or change your password.
Note that you may also receive a notification when the search is complete without any exposure to a critical data item such as your medical ID. After you edit an alert, you can archive it so that you can more easily focus on new alerts.
If you use a password manager to remember strong, unique passwords for each site, congratulations! If you’re trying to memorize these passwords yourself, or if you’re using the same password everywhere, you don’t want to use anything that was revealed when violated. And even a password like N2bxPDN6 $! A3ujo6 can be exposed when used on a low security site. This is where Password Detective comes in.
Signing up for this detective’s services is easy enough. Just enter a password you are using (or want to use) and hit « Verify ». You will find out immediately whether this password has been compromised.
IDX Privacy does not send your unprotected password wildly for analysis. Rather, the password is subjected to a type of one-way encryption known as the hash algorithm. The same input always provides the same output, but cannot be reversed. In the cloud, this hash is compared with the hashes of billions of compromised passwords. If there is a match, there is a problem.
According to my IDX contact, this feature is used quite a lot. An average of three password checks are performed per user per month. More importantly, 80% of the verified passwords are in the compromised credentials database. Do not use 123456 or baseball as a password anymore!
With antivirus and other security utilities installed, your local PC can be fairly safe. However, once you send data over the internet all bets will be void. To protect your data and activities while surfing the internet, you need a virtual private network or VPN. And IDX Privacy offers you one in the form of its Safe WiFi component.
Like the Tracker Blocker, Safe WiFi requires a separate installation. Or rather, three separate installations as you can install them on three macOS or Windows devices. In the online console you will find a license key to activate. The VPN technology comes from Private Communications Corp.. . , Publisher of the Private WiFi VPN utility.
PCMag has tested dozens of VPNs. Unfortunately, private WiFi is not one of them. By observation, it is a simple, straightforward utility. On the left is a list of over two dozen server locations, including a dozen US states and the rest of the foreign countries. Most of the latter are located in Europe, although India and South Korea appear in the mix. The order of the list seemed odd until I realized it was sorted by distance from my current location.
When using the VPN, all you have to do is select a state or country and hit the big Connect button. There is no option to select servers within a site and therefore no information about which servers have the lowest latency. You also won’t find servers optimized for specific tasks like streaming video or torrenting.
I ran a simple IP geolocation test to verify that the test computer is in the country I selected. A DNS leak test confirmed that the VPN did not lose any data through unprotected DNS servers.
And . . . that’s it for this simple VPN. It doesn’t offer a kill switch to disable the internet connection if the VPN connection fails. You can’t choose to turn it on automatically when you connect to an untrusted network. There is no option for split tunneling (which means that some apps will connect without going through the VPN). .
By default, the VPN starts when the system starts. You can configure it to start manually. I would be happier with the option to start at startup and connect. As it is, you need to remember to connect. You will also need to choose your preferred server location each time as it will not remember your last selection.
By default, it is also not closed and disconnected when you close the window. I don’t know why you would do this, but you can reverse that setting. This applies to settings other than selecting the user interface in English, French, Spanish, German, or Japanese.
Don’t get me wrong; Simplicity in a VPN can be a good thing, especially for less technical users. If you remember to connect to the topmost (i.e. closest) server location every time you start your system, it means a huge improvement in your privacy.
That’s it for the visible data protection components of IDX Privacy. The identity theft recovery service is only visible through a button labeled « Get Help ». The recovery process begins when you click this button or respond to a credit notification by marking it as suspicious. As mentioned earlier, I couldn’t test this part of the service without my own identity being stolen. However, I discussed the process at length with a company representative so that I could at least guide readers through the offering.
Once a case has been created, a recovery admissions team will interview you, the victim, to obtain all the necessary details. Once that identity theft was verified, they established a limited power of attorney that enables IDX to “conduct correspondence with companies including, but not limited to law enforcement agencies, credit bureaus, and state and local governments. At this point, sit back and let the experts do their job. The process can take several weeks to almost a year and does not end until the member’s identity has been « restored to its pre-violation state ». .
Identity theft can be expensive. Thieves can steal money straight from your accounts, missing out on work, and even taking time and money to take legal action. This is where the million dollar insurance touted by IDX Privacy can help. According to my company contact: “The costs covered during the recovery process include lost wages, stolen funds (under certain conditions), and legal defense fees and costs (e.g.. G. , Credit reports, legal fees for some civil actions, credit application refill fees, etc.. . ) in connection with the identity theft event. ”
As with other identity theft elimination services, we cannot actively test the recovery process or see the insurance in action. In addition to testing the remediation, we want to be able to demonstrate how quickly it pays off in practice and see firsthand what reservations may or may not apply to the $ 1 million insurance. All of you who have ever struggled with a payment from an insurance company will no doubt nod as you read it. However, the services on offer sound like what you need and want after an identity theft.
The thing about insurance is that you really don’t have to use it. It is better just not to have a car accident than having an accident and having insurance pay for to fix the problem. Likewise, it is better not to experience identity theft at all. For this reason, IDX Privacy offers a range of data protection improving services and corrective measures. Responding to alerts about suspicious activity can help prevent attacks before they begin. Checking your social media for issues can also reject attempts to profile you. Using a VPN will protect your online activities as a whole.
As mentioned earlier, protecting your privacy has many different aspects. Privacy products may not have a single function in common, making comparisons difficult. In this area, we have named two very different Editors’ Choice winners. Abine Blur allows you to shop online without revealing your email address, credit card or phone. This includes numerous bonus features, including a password manager and the active « do not track » function. With Preveil, you can easily protect any email message with encryption and it doesn’t cost a dime.
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