Ways to Prevent Companies From Collecting Your Data Online

Various companies collect your data when you use your smartphone, smart TV, or laptop to stream, play, or surf the internet. This information is sold to other companies to market their products or services. That’s why you need to stay safe while using the internet.

Here are some of the ways to avoid the risk of data collection by third parties:

Use Another Search Engine

Most search engines store your data for selling it to various companies for advertising purposes. As a result, these companies target you with ads and other content that aligns with your interests. If you are skeptical about sharing your personal information, such as likes, dislikes, search history, websites you visit, and even the random thoughts that take over your mind, then you should try another search engine. Once you have downloaded and installed it, check its settings to see how it stores and uses your information.

You can also look for an option to disable your search engine from saving your information. For example, Ecosia, DuckDuckGo, Dogpile, and StartPage are some of the search engines that respect your privacy and keep your information safe.

Limit Your Social Media Use

Social media platforms store your information and use it to send recommendations of things you will like. The information they collect may include your location, gender, age, education, the accounts you follow, the type of content you view, the groups you have joined, and even the people you interact with. Later, this information is sold to other pages or companies. So, if you change your profile’s privacy settings to make it private, you can limit the information you are putting out there. Even if you leave your check-in activities visible to the public on social media, companies can track them for marketing purposes.

Use an Ad Blocker

Ad blockers can help prevent your device from getting pop-ups, ads, and malware. In addition, they filter out content that you don’t need or want to access on your device. Most advertisers make money by gathering your personal information and using it to display ads on your device. In such situations, ad blockers help protect your data privacy so you could avoid storing and sharing data to and from your device.

Hide Your Email Address

Internet users are required to use their email addresses to access websites and social media platforms on the internet. When you enter your primary email address everywhere, your email inbox will most likely become full of promotional emails and ads from various companies. To prevent your email account from such spam and junk emails, you need to avoid sharing your primary email address on every website.

Instead, create a secondary or multiple email account and use that information to access the web. This way, companies can’t get access to your main email account, which you can limit for personal or professional use.

Change Privacy Settings on Your Smartphone

Nowadays, many smartphones include the option to change their advanced privacy settings. You can use this feature to control the data stored on your smartphone through your browsing history and application usage.

If you are using an iPhone, you can enable the option to manage your activity tracking permissions. Simply go to your Settings. Tap Privacy. Then, tap Tracking. This way, you can keep a tracking control every time you visit a website or open an application that may store your information.

Your privacy settings may contain other options, such as “Ad Personalization” or “Personalized Ads.” You can turn them on and off based on your preferences to restrict the information being stored. Similarly, you can change your location controls to disable your device from sharing or storing your location details.

Avoid Visiting Data Broker Sites

You might have not noticed, but you may have visited many data broker sites that store your personal information to resell it to various companies. It includes your online shopping history, the accounts you follow on social media, and even the amount of money you spend every month. They use your information to determine if you have the potential to become their customer or not. Based on your age, gender, location, and income, businesses run online marketing campaigns to persuade you into buying their products and services.

To protect your information from data broker sites, avoid visiting such websites. In addition, you can control the information you share on social media, avoid downloading apps or files from unknown websites, ignore spam or junk emails or messages in your inbox, and use a web browser that allows you to restrict such websites. Alternatively, you can install a VPN that hides your personal information from your internet service provider (ISP), government, and other authorities. If you are using a VPN on your smart TV, then you may need to switch to Optimum TV for a safer streaming experience.

Browse Responsibly

Sometimes, your browsing can land you in trouble. Since companies are out there to collect your information through your browsing activities, you need to be careful while visiting certain web pages. For example, if you want to enter your credit card information for online shopping, use a different web browser. This way, you can ensure that no one gets access to your payment details.

Similarly, you can simply sign out of your social media or email accounts if you don’t want any third party to track your online activities. For instance, if you are visiting an e-commerce website while you are logged in to Facebook, this may allow the two websites to store your details from the other side. Therefore, you should consider closing the tab when you are not using it.

If you need more tips to have a secure browsing experience, contact BuyTVInternetPhone and a technical professional will assist you in finding the most secure network for your home.

Wrapping Up

Securing your data may seem impossible at first; however, the abovementioned ways have made it easier to safeguard your online presence. This way, you can prevent your information from being shared without your consent. So, be careful and stay vigilant while surfing the web!