How to Stop Data Brokers Profiting from Your Information

may 04, 2020 | internet privacy
How to Stop Data Brokers Profiting from Your Information

Web searches. Purchase history. Driving records. Change of address forms.

These are just a few examples of the types of information that data brokers are continually collecting about you, and the size and scale of this industry is staggering. One data brokers claims to have files on 10% of the world's population with up to 1,5000 pieces of information on any single person.

Data collection has become such an accepted reality that approximately 60% of U.S. adults say it's impossible to go through daily life without having information collected about them by companies or the government. It's true that there may be nothing you can do to prohibit the collection of some of your personal information, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to stop organizations from profiting from this data. Among them:

  • Say No to Surveys.

Social media quizzes are often presented as a fun game (for example, who wouldn’t be curious about their celebrity counterpart or which Tiger King character they most resemble?) However, these seemingly innocuous quizzes are often created by a third-party app that gives the developers access to all your profile information along with any data provided in your responses. In addition, companies will often offer surveys for a chance to win prizes or discounts. As a general rule, you should avoid these as well and refrain from sharing any personal information unless you know exactly how it will be used.

  • Restrict Financial Data Sharing.

Your financial information is a key part of your data broker profile. As such, any steps you take to limit the data your bank shares about you can greatly reduce the information they are able to collect. Privacy policies differ from one financial institution to the next, so it’s important to read them closely when you are selecting a banking provider. It’s also a good idea to use a digital wallet and vary your forms of payment so that it’s more difficult to detect your purchase patterns.

  • Prevent Disclosure of Student Data.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students and parents the right to prevent the disclosure of information like name, address, attendance dates and degrees. With the current shift to remote learning, it’s more important than ever that you are aware of these rights and opt out of data sharing from schools as well as any digital educational resources.

  • Delete Your Data Broker Profile.

One of the most effective ways of stopping data brokers from profiting off of your information is to delete your profiles entirely. However, this can be challenging given the shadowy nature of the data broker industry and the numerous companies and sites that have access to the information.

IDShield can help you navigate the complex data broker landscape and ensure that these entities no longer have access to your personal information. We assist you with getting your personal data removed from all data broker sites and can also provide guidance on the above and other steps for limiting the methods by which they can access your information moving forward.

With data brokers continually changing their tactics for targeting your personal data, you need a partner that is focused on ensuring you are protected—always.

IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”). LegalShield provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. For complete terms, coverage and conditions, please see an identity theft plan.  All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.

IDShield Can Help Ensure that Your Private Information Remains Private