5 Ways to Stop Companies from Collecting Your Personal Information
It’s been a while since I subscribed to a new app or online service. I avoid doing this because I just don’t like giving my personal information to companies in exchange for goods or services they offer.
Survey says the cost of convenience is too high
Many people feel the same. According to research by Wakefield Research for AU10TIX, an identity verification company, US consumers are still willing to share their personal information with companies but 86% believe that companies are asking too much for little benefit. The study also showed that 51% of consumers worry about their personal information falling into the wrong hands. Two-thirds (64%) said the potential risks of sharing too much personal data outweigh the benefits of working with online businesses.
The study results also show that US consumers are beginning to prioritize security over speed, with 67% of respondents saying they are willing to sacrifice convenience to keep their data locked down. Additionally, 9 out of 10 Americans surveyed said they would be willing to use account security tools when interacting with the Services.
How to protect your personal information
Hacks and data breaches at companies that provide the services we use every day are now commonplace. Stay safe when doing business online by taking these five precautions:
Enable multi-factor authentication for all your connections on the web. There are many authenticator apps you can use with your mobile devices, or you can carry a hardware security key on your keychain. Entering passcodes is an extra step in the login process, but it could be the protection that prevents bad guys from accessing your accounts in the event of a data breach.
Use a password manager to keep track of your credentials. Getting a randomly generated password from an app is a much safer option than trying to memorize the same three passwords and use them for every website. Most modern passwords also allow you to store photo attachments and sensitive documents in your encrypted vault.
Read the privacy policies of apps and websites. This step takes the most time, but it’s key to understanding how companies are using your data. Keep an eye out for anything unusual, like a calculator app that also collects your health metrics.
Lying while filling out web forms. I don’t recommend you do this when communicating with government agencies or your bank, but yeah, go ahead and lie to the cooking website that wants your birthday, full name, phone number, and physical address in exchange for a chili recipe. If you can’t figure out why an app or website needs the information they collect from you, it’s not a good idea to give them the real data.
Just say no to unnecessary data collection. In many cases, not all of the information requested on a company’s web form is required information, so you can get away with omitting important data about yourself. You can also choose not to accept cookies on many websites and to refuse certain data requests made by applications without affecting your user experience in any way.
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What else is going on in the security world this week?
Microsoft to businesses: now you can hire our cybersecurity experts. The company’s Microsoft Security Experts program will allow companies interested in outsourcing their IT security to Redmond.
US sanctions cryptocurrency ‘mixing’ service to help North Korean hackers. The service, called Blender.io, is said to have helped North Korean state-sponsored hacking group Lazarus launder funds stolen in the $620 million hack of the Ronin network.
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Facebook no longer tracks “nearby friends”, other background location features. So far, Facebook is only quietly announcing the radical data minimization movement via in-app prompts and emails to users.
Ex-CISA chief: Biden Cybersecurity EO ‘raising the standard’ on IT vendors. The executive order recognizes that our greatest cybersecurity tool “is the power of the wallet,” says Chris Krebs, who was fired by President Trump for saying the 2020 election was legitimate.
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