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Protect yourself from data brokers

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Some people are pushing back when it comes to how their online data is being used, says CIO social media reporter Matt Kapko.

Investigative journalist Julia Angwin has taken on the task of reclaiming her information from data brokers as part of a story for the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes.” It took her a month and she contacted more than 200 data brokers.

Angwin has stopped using all Google services and now uses DuckDuckGo for Internet searching, WhiteHat Aviator for browsing, and Disconnect, “an app that exposes and blocks access to the thousands of data brokers that are otherwise invisibly collecting personal data online, including site visits and search queries.”

The Direct Marketing Association is working to update ethical guidelines for their industry. “We are the self-regulatory enforcement for the entire data-driven marketing industry,” says Rachel Thomas, DMA vice president of government affairs.

“If you want to use social networking, but you really want to be extremely private with a lot of your information I would encourage folks to stick to Facebook or LinkedIn and use the privacy controls appropriately,” says HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe.

He also suggests using the private mode on your browser and using the old standby metric: What if your mom saw this?

“When it comes to social media, think about what your mother would say if it’s online,” he said. “Should it really be out there? If so, I don’t think consumers should be concerned about what happens with that data.”

— Adapted from “How to Ensure Your Social Media Privacy,” Matt Kapko, CIO.

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