While you are sleeping comfortable in your bedroom at night, all of your digital footprints are traveling silently without your consent on the internet world (FYI-There is nothing you can do to stop it! )
Lets talk about the most common social media platform which is “Facebook” or “Instagram”. Did you ever care to read its privacy and data policy ? I believe the answer will be “NO”. None of us ever read the privacy and data policy for anything we sign up. Forget about social media platforms, we almost never read any policies either when we upgrade a software or download a software, we tend to give out our email ids for cheap 15% discounts at grocery, clothing or restaurants and much more. Don’t forget about giving out your birth dates for a free treat or a goodie bag at a cosmetic or an ice cream store.
I was no different from other users, almost for last 5 years, I use to happily sign up for freebies, discounts and manufacture coupons sent via emails or by sending a simple empty envelope with return address to get coupons from major retailers. But everything changed just before five months when when I care to start reading more into data analytic, data collections and data brokers conducted by manufactures or sellers.
According to a study, mostly 80% of users have no idea about the “data brokers”. It was terrifying to read what happens behind our backs to our personal information including our pictures. Have you ever wonder, when you open your mailbox ( physical at home), you find those envelopes from banks with low interest rates offers, realtors companies, lending companies or just coupons from nearby restaurants. You might scratch your head and think, I have never been there or never visited their website to sign up for a credit card or look up menus, I wonder how did they get my information. Well the answer is, data has been collected on you, has been shared to other potential marketing companies to sell their products or managed the current trends in the market.
Some companies collect the data and sell it to small companies for marketing companies. What happens when there is a leak within the lines, our personal information will fall into wrong hands of online predators- do you remember the “Target Data breach which spilled information for 70 million customers” and many more… The reality is, our information falls into hands of online predators several times a day, it just we dont know it or not informed about it.
Now the real question is what should we do about it and where are the risks?
In my opinion, The young millennials are mostly at risk of sharing their information to the online predators, marketing data analytic and data collections centers.Young millennials are constantly putting their online activities on social media such as check ins, sharing posts with pictures and locations, sign up for cheap college discounts and much more.
How can we save young millennials and each of us from evil predators ?
Protect your search
Parents, young millennials and every body else should remember to constantly educate each other about digital foot prints we leave behind by sign ups, online shopping and social media platforms.
Suggestion: Install “Ghostery.com” in your browser to track and deactivate the activity of all the marketing agencies from which ever website you are visiting. https://www.ghostery.com/
Other search engines I would recommend will be DuckDuckGo.com which follows the same rules to protect your online search and does not track any logs or activities.
Don’t fall for discounts offers
Whenever you go online to shop for clothes, grocery, books, kitchen items or anything. Simply dont sign up at all. The retailers might give you $5 off but I am sure your $5 or $10 are not worth to sell your personal information to other marketing predators.
Also by simply unsubscribing from their mailing list will be enough to delete my information. I was absolutely naive about this too, the data once collected cannot be erased. Your information will be stored in the database forever and never goes away.
Don’t fall for Mall tricks
I am surely you must have encounter those tricks in mall with a glass bowl and a chance to win a free tablet, a phone or a car. I almost encounter every time I visit a mall, people ask few information like email, phone numbers and full name so that they can contact us if we have won. I bet you no one every really wins a car or a phone. The only thing anybody wins is your free personal information to distribute for marketing or data analytic. Dont fall for this trick to win free stuff. Freebies comes with a price.
Don’t fall for Android or Iphone free games or apps
There are no free lunches in this world, any free stuff you get comes with a string of items that internet snatch away from you. Have you played angry birds, those chess games or any free games on ipad or android platforms. Do you really think company cares to give away free games because they like you and cares about customers ! Absolutely not !
Direct quote from CBS 60 minutes show: And if you’re one of the billion people who have downloaded the popular game app Angry Birds to your smart phone, or you were one of the 50 million people who downloaded “Brightest Flashlight Free” app, you didn’t realize that the companies that gave them to you for free were using the apps to track your every movement and pass it along to other companies.
Read rest of the article here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-data-brokers-selling-your-personal-information/
Protect your search, pictures, information and location by simply resetting your privacy locations, your security settings, dont falling prey to free stuff, coupons or any other source where you might have to give your phone number, email or home address in return.
By saving $500 a year wont be worth when you have to give away your personal information to tons of Data Brokers online and other malicious predators.
Watch what you say, write, post or enter into online world
Use www.Startpage.com instead of google
Don’t download free apps for games
Don’t sign up for free coupons or discounts
Don’t post unlimited and all the information on Instagram, facebook or twitter with location and other personal details about kids school, work or an event at home
Educate young millennials and other members of the family about Data brokers
Don’t log into Free Public Wi-fi until absolutely necessary to check anything on phone, Facebook and Instagram posts can wait
Read online privacy policies and data sharing policies of Facebook, twitter, Instagram, credit cards, apps or websites in details. there is no going back after you click sign up to the online portal
If you like my post or have some suggestions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.smartliving24x7.com