Protect your privacy and remove data from online services
With all the information about us online, it’s hard to keep certain information such as your home address, relative’s names, phone numbers, and other identifying information, private. All of this available information makes it easy for scammers to target various segments of the population. In addition to the information that scamming data broker companies like LexisNexis, TransUnion Corp, and Fair Isaac use there are the other myriad petty thieves and sneaky scammers out there using our data to make even more profit at our expense.
It’s important to remember that everything you do, add post and discuss online is saved, stored and sold. Even when you enter a contest or fill out any form data online it gets stored and sold. You have to be careful and diligent to ensure that private information isn’t being shared or stored. Every internet company, application, and other websites you post comments or data on is collecting your information and compiling a file on your post history and other information. Unless you want this data to be tracked and sold, you have to create standards and other guidelines for yourself, your business and others who may post to your account. For example, if you have an employee who writes all of your social media posts such as Tweets, Facebook status updates, Instagram stories and other comments, make sure that they are following guidelines appropriate for your company’s standards and policies. Standards don’t have to apply only to your business you can set standards for your personal information also.
While you can’t keep all of your data off the internet, you can take measures and set standards to protect your personal information online. A good start is setting all of your social media accounts to private. Ultimately, you should give up all of your social media, just go cold turkey and delete all of your accounts. But, it’s understandable that this may not be possible for some people. If you need to have a social media presence for your business, then at least put your accounts in your business name. Few individuals need to have social media accounts with thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers or friends. If your account is for your brand or company, then at least set it up that way to minimize the amount of personal information you are entering about yourself online.
Learning to keep your data offline has become a lot of work. As people begin to realize that while they were happily Tweeting, texting, DMing, posting and adding pics of themselves online, data brokers were buying all of this information from the software companies. They harvest and sell this info to marketing groups, advertisers, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, the US government and many other companies and institutions. It’s time we all realized that our data belongs to us and should be carefully guarded and kept out of the wrong hands.