Discover Online Privacy Protection: What Does It Do?

Almost everything online today revolves around digital security and privacy. That's why it's interesting to see traditional organizations like banks move in this direction. Today, we'll look at Discover, an online bank that offers Discover Online Privacy Protection service.

What is Discover Online Privacy Protection?

Discover Online Privacy Protection
Customers of Discover get free online privacy protection services.

Discover Online Privacy Protection service is a unique feature for Discover card customers. The service regularly scans several people-search websites for the customer's personal information. If such data is found, the service assists in submitting opt-out requests.

The process is repeated approximately every 90 days. Discover offers this service to its customers for free. While there are competing services, most come on a subscription basis, with customers paying an average of $10 monthly.

How Discover Online Privacy Protection Works

Discover Online Privacy Protection works systematically. It first scans various people-search websites. These are websites that compile and display personal information about individuals. 

Sometimes, more extensive data, such as property or court records, are shown.

On these sites, Discover Online Privacy Protection attempts to identify the customer's personal information that might be publicly accessible. Discover Online Privacy Protection will automatically submit opt-out requests if it finds any information about its customers. 

This scanning and removal process is repeated approximately every 90 days, ensuring that new or reappeared data is addressed. 

Advantages of Discover's Online Privacy Protection

The primary benefit of Discover's Online Privacy Protection service is the enhanced privacy and security it offers to users. However, this can be expanded to the following advantages gained in the same lien:

  • Identity Theft Prevention: Limits exposure to potential identity thieves.
  • Reduced Unsolicited Contact: Decreases the likelihood of unwanted marketing or contact.
  • Ongoing Monitoring: Regular 90-day checks keep information privacy up-to-date.
  • Easy to Use: Integrated into the Discover mobile app for convenience.
  • No Additional Cost: Provided as a free service to Discover customers.

Results: Does Discover Online Privacy Protection Work?

The user experience with Discover's Online Privacy Protection service, as reported by a group of 10 test subjects, presents a spectrum of outcomes:

  • Incorrect Data Removal: 1 user experienced the removal of data that was incorrect.
  • No Data Removal: 2 users reported that no data was removed even after a waiting period of more than 45 days.
  • Successful Data Removal: 4 users confirmed the successful removal of their data.
  • Partial Data Removal: 3 users observed that their data was only partially removed.

Despite the disparity in results, all test subjects agreed on the service's ease of use. That's pretty indicative of a user-friendly interface and process. 

Our conclusion is that it works (sort of), but don't overly rely on Discover Online Privacy Protection. That's why you should take a multi-layered approach towards protecting your digital privacy and security.

Extra Steps to Protect Your Digital Privacy

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Apart from using services like Discover Online Privacy Protection, there are additional measures you can take to enhance your digital privacy:

  • Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Create complex passwords and use a different one for each account.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: 2FA Adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring the presence of an extra physical device.
  • Regularly Update Software: Keep your devices' software and apps updated to protect against vulnerabilities.
  • Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Don't click on suspicious links or share personal information in response to unsolicited requests.
  • Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network can encrypt your internet connection, keeping your online activities private.
  • Limit Social Media Sharing: Be cautious about the amount of personal information you share on social media platforms.
  • Review Privacy Settings: Regularly check and adjust the privacy settings on your online accounts and devices (Especially from companies like Meta and Google).

Read our guide on 10 Ways to Reduce Your Digital Footprint

Alternatives to Discover Online Privacy Protection

While Discover's free Online Privacy Protection service is a commendable offering for customers, there is room for improvement. Its limitation to people-search websites and the frequency of operation, approximately four times a year, suggest that there are more comprehensive alternatives available in the market.

Data Removal Service Incogni

Incogni, developed by Surfshark, is a subscription-based data removal service. It aims to delete personal information from over 180 internet data brokers and people-search sites. Surfshark is notably recognized for its exceptional VPN service, enhancing its credibility in the realm of digital security and privacy.

It primarily focuses on regions covered by GDPR, CCPA, and PIPEDA. That means the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland​.

Incogni uses a limited power of attorney to contact data brokers on behalf of its users, making data removal requests based on several privacy protection laws. It also offers a detailed dashboard for users to track the status of their data removal requests​

Norton Privacy Monitor

Part of Norton LifeLock, Norton Privacy Monitor helps find and remove personal information from people-search and data broker sites. It scans popular sites and assists users in opting out of these sites to control their online privacy.

Norton's service is available as a stand-alone subscription or as part of Norton 360 with LifeLock plans. It provides ongoing support by periodic re-scanning to ensure data isn't reposted. It also offers assistance in the removal process.

Experian Identity Theft and Credit Protection

For those preferring a traditional service provider, Experian stands as a well-known option. The company offers a comprehensive range of services, including credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and online privacy protection.

Experian's Identity Theft and Credit Protection service includes monthly privacy scans. That includes removal of personal info from people finder sites, identity theft monitoring, dark web surveillance, fraud resolution, and up to $1 million ID theft insurance.

Final Thoughts

Services like Discover Online Privacy Protection are essential for defending against data breaches, identity theft, and unwarranted surveillance. However, despite its sporadic performance, the service's free nature enhances its accessibility for Discover customers, making it a viable option for those seeking basic online privacy measures.

The essential takeaway is that you must be aware of the risks you take by leaving your data randomly afloat online. Take the initiative to seek a data protection service before anything goes wrong.

Identity theft can be a horrible experience, both financially and reputationally.

Timothy Shim

Tim is a former tech journalist turned web technology junkie. He spends his time exploring the best in digital privacy and security tools. Meanwhile, experiments with SEO continue to increase his blood pressure. ( Contact Tim on Linkedin )

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