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What Companies Do with your Private Information and the way to guard It

Have you ever been browsing the web and filling out forms? Wondering what companies do with your private information? Are you familiar with Cambridge Analytics? There are many other companies like this giant of the personal data industry. It is estimated that this industry generates $300 billion a year by gathering and selling data, including your basic contact information, shopping habits, online behaviors, interests, or employment and earning information.

Your information is gathered by a number of the retailers you patronize and a few of the websites you employ. Organizations that collect and sell your information also include the DMV and the main credit reporting agencies.

These days and age, there is no way to completely protect your personal information, given that selling and buying data has become a common practice.

Knowing that some companies have detailed records that include your personal data and habits are often alarming, but most data buyers only use this information for marketing purposes.
Your personal information can, for instance, be used to send you pre-screened offers, show you some targeted ads based on your interests, or to determine the kind of products or services you’re likely to find interesting.

How to Protect Your Data

Even so, there are a few things you can do to protect your privacy:

  1. Ensure the sites that you share information on are properly encrypted. This includes shopping sites, online job applications, and any site that requires you to enter your personal information. The URL should begin with HTTPS and you should see a padlock icon next to it. You may consider a VPN to encrypt your connection to the internet.
  2. Be careful with the websites you visit. Any website owner can collect personal information like your name, address, telephone number, and shopping and browsing habits by using cookies and web beacons. It is best to not visit sites that do not seem trustworthy.
  1. Be aware of the cookies present on your computer and delete them once in a while. Websites can use three types of cookies to track your activities:
  • Session cookies, which keep track of what you do during a session and expire once you stop browsing a site. These cookies don’t gather or share your personal information.
  • Persistent cookies, which remain on your hard drive in the form of text files and can keep tracking what you do online besides saving your login information for the next time you visit the website.
  • 第三方广告服务 cookie,也称为网络错误,它会跟踪您在网上所做的一切,以便向您展示更多相关的广告。这些 Cookie 以图形文件的形式出现在网页上,并且可能具有侵入性,因为它们旨在记录您的所有在线活动。

联邦贸易委员会让您有可能逃避从营销公司接收某些类型的预先筛选的报价。请访问 FTC 官方网站,了解有关选择退出计划的更多信息。
然而,对于在线广告、个人数据的销售以及 cookie 的使用,没有任何规定。这就是为什么您需要了解这些做法,定期清除您的 cookie,并避免访问您不信任您的私人信息的网站。

考虑使用 Mozilla Firefox 等互联网浏览器,该浏览器旨在通过阻止第三方广告服务 cookie 来保护您的隐私。始终问问自己,网站或组织是否真的需要您提供的知识。

使用CCleaner清理您的系统,它还会删除 cookie 和跟踪注册表文件。

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