We’re all used to seeing a sweater or appliance we’ve just viewed on a website appear in every ad in every site we visit afterwards—did you know it’s because you’re being tracked? The trustworthy and innocent-seeming sites we visit on a regular basis are collecting and selling data on you to data brokerage firms, as revealed in a 60 Minutes piece. That parenting website you just filled a survey out on? There’s a good chance that that information was collected and sold. But there are ways to protect your online privacy:
• It might be tempting to skip over it, but always read the terms of service agreements or user agreements on websites before handing over any personal information. It might take some digging, but you should be able to find information on how they handle personal information and what they do with it once they have it.
• Always log out of sites and apps on all of your digital devices. It’s certainly more convenient to always stay logged in (seriously, who can remember the millions of passwords they have?), but you can’t be tracked if you’re not connected.
For more tips on how to navigate your digital life, check out these stories.