6 Ways To Protect Your Personal Data

High profile hacking of business and government databases dominates the news these days. But now, there is a even much bigger problem –– invisible data brokers are tracking your every online move!

The worst kinds of information hacking can be stopped with some common sense prevention methods.

FACT: There are Data brokers that gather YOUR personal details without your knowledge!

Data Brokers typically gather information about your finances, religious preferences, political interests, medical history and even your sexual orientation.

This collected data is used to create customized ads and web pages that speak to your interests. What’s scary is that this data could get in the wrong hands.

If you don’t want your personal details scattered around the Internet, you could spend hours figuring out how to stop these companies.

We’ve simplified the process for you! –– just follow these tips to limit you and your family’s exposure.

1) Find Out Who Is Collecting Your Data!

Data brokers don’t make it easy to opt out. But, several options exist, including the 10-day free trial of Safe Shepherd software.

Safe Shepherd scans Internet and marketing databases to see who is selling your personal information and sends requests to delete the record.

Stop Data Mining provides links to data brokers to find out what opt-out options they offer. Ghostery and Download Disconnect offer add-ons to web browsers that make it easier to opt-out from data gathering on more than 2,000 sites.

2) Stop The Three Largest Data Brokers From Gathering Information.

  • Go to Acxiom, and click the button that says “Install Opt-out Cookie.”

  • Go to Experian, and click the “Opt Out of Audience IQ Cookies.”

  • Epsilon: No need to visit Epsilon’s site. Instead, when an online ad pops up while you’re browsing any website, look for the “Advertising Option” icon or “AdChoices” text. Click on it to access a preference setting or an opt-out link.

3) Turn Off Cookies. (Not The One’s on top of the Fridge)

Data Cookies ––small text files saved in your browser that allow a website to recognize when you return to the site –– are also used by data brokers to monitor your online preferences and history.

There are two ways to disable cookies.

First, you can disable them on individual websites by holding down COMMAND + SHIFT + DELETE. A popup menu will appear, and you can turn off cookies for that website.

Secondly, most cookies can be disabled by going to the preferences > advanced settings or Internet options menu on your website browser. Then, change your privacy settings or personalization menus to disable cookies and block websites from collecting information. Follow these steps to turn off cookies in the most popular browsers:

  • Firefox browser: Go to the Menu button in Firefox, and select Preferences. Choose the Privacy panel, then click on “Firefox will” under the History button. Select “Use custom settings for history.” Then, uncheck “Accept cookies from sites.”

  • Chrome browser: Disable cookies by going to Menu in Chrome and clicking on Settings. Select “Show Advanced Settings.” Look for the “Privacy” section, then choose Content Settings. Click on “Block sites from setting any data.”

  • Bing browser: Click the Preferences icon on the Bing browser. Choose Settings, click on Personalization and sign into your Microsoft account to remove your personal information.

  • Internet Explorer browser: Go to the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, then click on Internet Options. Click on the Privacy tab, and then select Settings. Move the slider all the way to the top to block all cookies.

  • Safari browser: From the Safari browser menu, click Preferences and then select Privacy. To remove all cookies, select Remove All Website Data, and then click Remove Now.

4) Block Interest-based Ads

Some websites gather personal information to create interest-based ads. Visit Digital Advertising Alliance to see which companies have enabled interest-based ads for your web browser.

Check “Select All Shown” to turn off the ads and store the opt-out preferences in your web browser. If you use more than one browser, follow these steps for each one. You can also visit the Network Advertising Initiative and following the same steps as above.

CAUTION: Currently, there is no way to turn off browser cookies or block interest based ads AND retain opt-out choices you set up in Step 3 (since opt-out choices are also saved as cookies). So if you delete browser cookies, the opt-out requests you make from data brokers will also be deleted and treated as if you’ve never made the request at all.

5) Use A Different Web Browser

Most search engines are implicit in gathering data from searches.

Go to DuckDuckGo, a search engine that does NOT track you.

6) Restrict Info Coming From Your Google+ account.

Once you set up a Google+ account, your information is used to customize the ads you see and the information others see about you. Follow these steps to limit how much information is used: Go to Settings on your Google+ page. Click Edit next to Shared Endorsements, then scroll to the bottom of the window and un-check the box next to “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” Click Save. Click on your profile photo in Google+, then click Profile. Click Edit in the Basic Information section, and then choose what information you want the public to see.

Got questions? Want more? Contact us and lets hear it!

At Reed Design Group, we take the time to listen to your needs and establish an effective design/marketing strategy that helps your business grow!

See Also:  What Is Web Hosting?

The REAL Value of a Good Web Design(er)

A website, combined with a planned internet and social media marketing strategy, allows you to make regular contact with existing clients (Pareto’s Principle says that 80% of our income comes from 20% of our clients so it makes a great deal of sense to keep in contact with them) as well as to market to new clients. And it’s far more efficient and effective than the usual hit-and-run cycle that is usually followed.

A well executed site can bring great value to the business when all three things happen:

  1. The site itself provides useful and pertinent information to the customer without them losing interest.

  2. The designer helps the client with a marketing strategy, or at the very least help get them in touch with a reputable Marketing/SEO team.

  3. As a major part of the business sales funnel,  the Site helps prospects convert to sales or service requests.

When these elements come together, you, as the client will feel great about your design investment in that it has just paid for itself in increased visitor traffic and conversion rates!

Bottom Line:

When these elements come together, you, as the client will feel great about your design investment in that it has just paid for itself in increased visitor traffic and conversion rates!

 Contact Reed Design Group today to find out how we can be a value-add partner to your team!


By | 2017-03-23T00:04:57+00:00 June 26th, 2016|How To|0 Comments

About the Author:

Reed Design Group based in Ft. Worth TX, has a strong presence in the web development arena. We provide professional website design services along with creative, results-driven online marketing.

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