How To Protect Your Online Privacy: 4 Great Methods for 2022

The internet has created a world in which we can access information in seconds with a couple of clicks of a button. There has never been a time with so much available information at one’s fingertips. As with many benefits that come with the advancement of technology and the internet, there are many downsides that also follow. The growth of the internet and technology leaves our personal information able to be exposed and used with or without our knowledge and consent. In these cases, it’s crucial to know how to protect your online privacy.

The best way to protect your online privacy is by taking a layered approach. Even with the massive amount of information shared and sold on the internet today, there are several measures you can take to protect your privacy and ways to help minimize the presence of personal information available online.

We will go through four key steps that can have a major impact on online privacy. Taking these four actions can help ensure that you have adopted an ongoing privacy protection measure.  

Protect Your Personal Data

Let Removaly keep a watchful eye on your personally identifiable information with automated, real-time data removal.

How To Protect Your Online Privacy: 4 Tips

Read Privacy Policies

Respected and creditable companies usually will have a Privacy Policy that informs you what information they collect, how they use it, and if it is shared with other parties. Most companies will list their privacy policies at the bottom of their websites or can provide a copy of their policy if asked for.

If a company doesn’t have a privacy policy, there should be extra caution in using their services or products. Although it can be lengthy, reading a company’s privacy policy will help you gain a better understanding of how seriously they take their user’s privacy and decide whether or not to associate with that specific company. 

Choose Opt Out Options

Companies usually will give you the option to opt out of them using your personal data. Most of the time they do not make this clear or easily well known because they want to keep and use your data. They should give you the option to opt out of third-party shares by requesting the company to not share your data with other parties for marketing purposes. This will help stop your information from being spread to other companies that you don’t know what their intentions are with using your data. 

Most of the time, companies will have an area on their website where you can find a form that you can fill out to opt out of them using your data. It is usually fine print and hard to find but will most likely be located at the bottom of their home page. 

If a company doesn’t have an opt out form or you can’t find it, you can email them directly. Most of the time they will obey your request or send you a form to fill out.

Even though it can be an annoying process and time-consuming, it is well worth the effort because leaving personal information exposed makes it that much easier for anyone to take advantage of using your data. Opting out is one of the best ways to take control of how your data is being used even though it is not widely known. 

Annual Monitoring For Accuracy

Most organizations should have systems in place where they ensure the information they have on you is accurate when making important decisions using this data. In the case that you think that your information is inaccurate, you should be able to correct, update, or remove that information. Receiving your credit report regularly is a great way to confirm your information is accurate. 

One way to check your credit report is to visit AnnualCreditReport.com. This website is a government-recommended credit reporting service and is the only credit report source authorized by federal law. They provide free annual credit reports for one or all three national consumer reporting companies including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. 

You can receive this report in three ways:

  1. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com and order your online report.
  2. Call their number: 877-322-8228.
  3. Download an Annual Credit Request Form and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Removing Personal Information Found Online

Doing a quick search on yourself on Google will give you an idea of just how much personal information is truly out there. Most people don’t recognize that personal information like their home address, phone number, financial information, and family members can be accessed very easily. On the bright side, most of the information available online can be removed by opting out of certain websites storing your data in their databases. 

There is an enormous amount of data brokers, people search sites, and online vendors whose sole purpose of their business is to collect and aggregate data. Some data brokers can be easier to deal with than others.

Almost all of them will give you the option to opt out, but not all of them will make it easy or obey your request. In most cases, you should be able to fill out an opt out form provided on their website.

The “harder” sites will usually not obey your requests, answer your emails, or will simply state that they are sharing already publicly available information and that they technically don’t have to remove your data. 

This can be a frustrating process and time-consuming but is well worth the effort to keep your information more secure and private. Each situation can and should be handled differently because some will be easier to deal with than others. Currently, there aren’t many laws that protect our privacy and online personal information which leaves us to take it into our own hands. While there is no infallible way to keep all of your information completely private, taking these steps can help minimize your risk and keep your information more secure.

Get Ahead of the Curve with Removaly

At Removaly, we offer clear and concise guides on how to opt out of the main data brokers and people search sites so that you can choose whether you want your information easily accessible or not. If you feel like it is too much to take care of or is too time-consuming, we offer a service where we take care of opting out of the major data brokers and players in this industry for you.

This leaves you stress-free and lets us handle the frustrating and time-consuming process of removing your information from these sites. Regardless of which route you choose, it is important to recognize where your information is being stored and how to remove it. 

Our Final Thoughts on How To Protect Your Online Privacy

As the world becomes more digital, it is important to take steps to protect your online privacy. As we went over, there are a variety of ways to do this, but the most effective is using all four approaches. Read privacy policies, choose opt out options, annual monitoring for accuracy, and remove your personal information. By taking these steps, you can help keep your information more private and secure.

Hopefully, as time goes on and privacy becomes more of a concern for the general public, we will see more laws and regulations that will help protect us. Big companies and other organizations don’t have our best interest at heart when it comes to using our data. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take action into their own hands and keep their information private. 

Protect Your Personal Data

Let Removaly keep a watchful eye on your personally identifiable information with automated, real-time data removal.

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