Ways to Prevent Retailers from Stalking You Online

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Protect your privacy when surfing and shopping online.

Gone are the days when you just had to keep your mouth shut to protect your privacy. With the advent of the internet age, a lot of people find it extremely difficult to keep their personal information and buying preferences private. If you have done so much as surf the internet and visit e-commerce sites, there is a great chance that your personal information has already been compromised.

Have you asked yourself why the same ads seem to be following you as you surf the internet? And why do some online retailers suggest products and services that fit your needs? Well, this is probably because search engines and online advertisers have been tracking you and know everything about you. Worse, they are building your personality and behavioral marketing profile so that they can sell it to other advertisers. Needless to say, this can get pretty disturbing.

4 Ways to Prevent Retailers from Stalking You Online
Here are some ways to help you keep these people off your back and reduce your digital footprint as you surf online.

  • Get rid of cookies. Online retailers and other websites use cookies (an online tracking system that attaches small pieces of data to your Internet browsers) to track your movement as you surf the internet and recognize you the next time you visit their site. To protect your online privacy, you should delete your cookies and internet history often. For better results, consider setting up your browser to delete cookies every time you close it.
  • Limit the amount of information you share. When placing an order, make it a habit to provide the minimum amount of information possible. As a general rule, you should only provide information that is required to process your order. This can help you reduce the risk of getting yourself spammed or targeted by direct mail solicitations.
  • Activate your “do not track” options. You can prevent websites from tracking your online activity by turning on your browser’s “do not track” option. While it may be true that some websites do not respect this feature, it can still help you to protect your privacy by preventing a lot of information from being sent from your computer or smartphone.
  • Create a new internet persona. To further protect your privacy and reduce your risk of being spammed, consider using a separate email account and credit card when shopping online.

Follow these tips and you can still surf online and shop online without compromising your privacy.