Don’t Opt-In, Here’s Why
You will often be given the opportunity to opt-in, but don’t, here’s why. The phrase opting in means that you are agreeing to something. When you opt out you are not agreeing. When you are given a checkbox to check that states Opt Out, make that selection. Often if you don’t you are automatically opted into making an agreement you may not want to make. Opting in gives websites, apps, phone companies, banks, utility companies, and many others the permission they need to sell, use, distribute and otherwise own all of your data. Once you’ve opted in you will notice that you will start getting massive amounts of spammy phone calls. This is because your cell phone company sold your data to loads of affiliates. Those companies then turn around and sell it to lots of smaller companies who add your phone number to their bot calling machines. You know the type of call it is–the phone rings, you’re not sure of the number, but it may be a local area code so you answer. When you say “hello” a recorded voice says “Hi, I’m Jenny”—or Mary, or Jack or Jim, or whatever and then the sales pitch starts. It could be car insurance, health benefits packages, car loans, or any number of pitches. Don’t get sucked in. If you don’t recognize a number and aren’t expecting a call, let it go to voicemail. Check the message after it is complete. If it’s a spam call, block the number using your phone’s settings. It won’t stop all the calls, but it will stop the calls from that number. Then make sure you check your bank, cell phone carrier, and other companies who have your phone number and make sure you are opted out.
If you are getting a lot of calls, emails, letters and other sales and marketing spam, you can opt out for five years by calling a toll free number set up by the Federal Trade Commission. This will eliminate many calls within a week or two. If you continue to have issues, go to the Federal Trade Commission website and read up on what to do if you’re getting spam calls. They outline actions you can take against companies who are ignoring the opt-out request. This is a lot simpler than going to each website or phone number and opting out. If you only want to opt out of telemarketing phone calls, you can use the National Do Not Call Registry. The federal government’s National Do Not Call Registry is free. It’s a simple method of reducing telemarketing calls to your home or mobile phone numbers. Each number needs to be registered. To register your phone number or to get information about the registry, visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 directly from the phone number you want to register. It takes about a month for you to get less spam calls, but you will get less. Numbers will only be removed when they are disconnected and reassigned, or when you choose to remove a number from the registry. If you continue to get calls after verifying that your number is on the Do Not Call registry, you can make note of the phone number and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Do this for every telemarketing number that calls your phone insistently.
Opting out is a great option and helps cut down or completely stops telemarketing calls. Unfortunately, though, it won’t keep your personal information off the internet. You should still check the web doing a Google, Bing, and Yahoo search to see if your personal, private information is appearing online. If you see that your private data is online, you can take steps to get your information removed from the internet. Data removal companies can help you with this process. They can also do a more careful search than you might be able to do and will be able to tell you all the places your private data is appearing online. They can then get rid of most instances and monitor the web so new additions are promptly removed.