6 Methods Companies Utilize to Access Your Personal Data

6 Methods Companies Utilize to Access Your Personal Data

It may come as a surprise that your location, shopping preferences, and social media habits are being tracked nearly every day. Many companies are eager to use this valuable information to send you targeted ads and promotions related to your preferences and sell that information to advertisers and other companies. To help you take back your privacy we're sharing six methods companies use to access your persona data without your knowledge. 

GPS Tracking on Your Phone

Over 81% of Americans own a smartphone, and the majority of them take it with them wherever they go. So, it should come as no surprise that companies have found a way to track your location using the GPS on your smartphone. They use your daily habits to determine what types of products and services you would be most inclined to purchase. Your data is also sold to other companies and research facilities to study your shopping patterns. 

Listening to Private Conversations

You may be concerned when you're talking to a friend or co-worker about buying a new pair of Nike cross-trainers, and the next day an ad pops up on your computer for the same shoes you mentioned previous day. This isn't done by chance. In many cases, your electronic devices are listening to your conversations and picking up on keywords you’re talking about, so it's important to be aware that not all your conversations are as private as you might think. 

Following Social Media Activity

It's universal knowledge that anything you post online is not private. This includes your location, photos, conversations, etc. Social media is an advertiser's favorite way to send targeted ads and posts to potential customers that they think may be interested in their product. The next time you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, take a few moments to look at the vast number of ads that pop up on your screen, and you'll be surprised at just how targeted they are based on your past purchases, behaviors, and recent conversations.  

Data Collected by Credit Cards/Loyalty Cards

You may think that banks or businesses are doing you a favor by offering bonus points or rewards anytime that you use your card. However, it's for their benefit. They're tracking your shopping habits and using that data for their own behalf. Next time you sign up for a credit or loyalty card, be sure to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. 

Accepting Cookie Policies 

Privacy laws recently passed in the UK and California require businesses to disclose what type of information they are accessing from their customers when they visit their website. Anytime you click "accept" on a "cookie" policy, you're giving that company access to your personal information. 

After reading this article, you're still going to visit websites, scroll through your social media feed, and sign up for a credit. However, now you have the knowledge to proceed with caution and be extra careful who you allow access to your personal information. 

Alerts.com provides a simple solution to help you take back control of your privacy and protect your PII and personal information that could lead to someone learning more about you. We provide all the tools necessary to help you identify what companies have access to your information, make sure you are notified when it's being sold or traded, and give you the opportunity to be removed or deleted from their list at any time. As your personal privacy advocates, we're here to make sure that you can exercise your right to stay informed and protect your personal data at all times. 


Sign up for our notification service today to receive instant alerts when a new business gains access to your information and request to opt-out or be deleted from a list at any time. 

Category: Data Protection

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