Guide on How to increase Online Safety
If you want to limit the amount of information that is shared, consider opting out of these programs. Online security refers to the protection of personal and sensitive information and assets while using the internet. It involves implementing measures to prevent unauthorized access, theft, and other cybercrimes. Here are some steps to improve online security:
Here are some steps to prevent companies from buying and selling your personal information:
Limit the information you share: Be mindful of the personal information you provide to companies, and only provide what is absolutely necessary.
Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication: This helps to protect your accounts and sensitive information.
Keep software and devices updated: Software updates often include security fixes that protect against potential data breaches.
Use privacy tools: Tools such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help to protect your online activities and personal information.
Opt-out of data-sharing programs: Many companies offer the option to opt-out of data-short-out programs, so look for this option and take advantage of it if available.
Be cautious of phishing scams: Scammers often attempt to trick individuals into revealing personal information through phishing scams, so be cautious of unsolicited emails and messages.
Remember, the more control you have over your personal information, the less likely it is to end up in the wrong hands.
Use strong and unique passwords: Create strong passwords and use a different password for each online account to minimize the risk of all your accounts being compromised in case of a password breach.
Enable two-factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a secondary form of verification, such as a one-time code sent to your phone, before granting access.
Keep software and devices updated: Regular software and device updates often include security patches that fix known vulnerabilities.
Use reputable antivirus software: Antivirus software can protect your devices from malware and other cyber threats.
Avoid public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks can be easily hacked, allowing others to access sensitive information on your device.
Be wary of phishing scams: Phishing scams are attempts by cybercriminals to trick you into revealing personal and sensitive information. Always verify the authenticity of emails and links before providing any information.
Use a virtual private network (VPN): VPNs encrypt your internet connection, protecting your online activities from being monitored or intercepted by third parties.
By taking these steps, you can improve your online security and protect your personal and sensitive information.
What is a data broker?
A data broker is a company that collects, aggregates, and sells personal information about individuals to other organizations. They gather data from various sources, including public records, online behavior, and commercial transactions, and use it to create detailed profiles of individuals. These profiles are then sold to businesses, marketers, and other organizations for various purposes, such as targeted advertising, credit scoring, and risk assessment.
Data brokers operate behind the scenes and often have access to a vast amount of personal information about individuals, including their name, address, income, purchasing habits, and more. Concerns regarding privacy and the possible abuse of personal information may arise as a result of this. Some countries have enacted laws to regulate the data brokerage industry, but the extent and effectiveness of these regulations vary.
Who is the biggest data broker?
It is difficult to identify the largest data broker, as the industry is highly competitive and constantly evolving. However, some of the well-known and largest data brokers in the world include Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Acxiom. These companies collect, process, and sell vast amounts of personal information, including credit histories, demographic information, and purchasing behaviors. They serve a variety of clients, including banks, credit card companies, retailers, and advertisers, among others.
It’s important to note that the data brokerage industry is constantly changing, with new players entering the market and existing companies acquiring smaller players. The size and scope of each company can also vary greatly depending on the geographic region and type of information they specialize in.
The top 10 B2B data brokers:
Here are ten of the largest B2B data brokers, in no particular order:
Dun & Bradstreet
Datalogix (now part of Oracle Data Cloud)
We know these companies for providing data solutions to various businesses and organizations, including credit card companies, banks, retailers, and advertisers.” They offer a range of services, including data management, data enrichment, customer intelligence, and marketing solutions, among others. These companies help businesses to make better-informed decisions by providing them with access to accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive data about consumers and markets.
How do data brokers collect your information?
Personal information is gathered by data brokers from a number of sources, including:
Public records: Data brokers can access public records, such as birth certificates, property records, and court records, to gather information about individuals.
Online behavior: Data brokers can track your online activities, including websites visited, products purchased, and search terms used, to create a profile of your interests and behaviors.
Commercial transactions: Data brokers can access information about your purchases, including the products you buy and the prices you pay, to build a profile of your spending habits.
Surveys and contests: Data brokers can purchase information collected through surveys and contests that consumers participate in.
Social media: Data brokers can gather information from social media platforms, including your profile information, likes, and posts, to build a more complete profile of you.
Data partnerships: Data brokers can partner with other companies to access and share information, such as data collected by loyalty programs or data obtained through data brokers.
Data brokers can create detailed profiles of individuals by combining information from these sources, which they then sell to businesses, marketers, and other organizations. Businesses, marketers, and other organizations can use these profiles for a variety of purposes, such as targeted advertising, credit scoring, and risk assessment.
Are data brokers illegal?
Data brokering, in itself, is not illegal. However, the collection, storage, and use of personal information by data brokers are subject to various laws and regulations that vary by country.
In some countries, such as the United States, there are few restrictions on the activities of data brokers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to regulate data brokers, but it has limited resources and has taken few enforcement actions.
In other countries, such as the European Union, there are more stringent regulations in place to protect the privacy of personal information. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives individuals the right to control their personal data and requires companies to obtain explicit consent before collecting or using personal information.
It’s important to note that the laws and regulations governing data brokers are constantly changing and evolving, and companies must stay up to date on the latest requirements and best practices to avoid legal and reputational risks. To limit the amount of personal information that data brokers collect and sell, consumers can take steps such as being mindful of the information they share online and opting out of data-sharing programs when possible.
How can you keep your data from coming up on a broker’s website?
Take these steps to limit the amount of personal information that data brokers collect and sell:
Be mindful of the information you share online: Limit the amount of personal information you share on social media platforms and avoid sharing sensitive information, such as financial information or Social Security numbers.
Opt out of data-sharing programs: Check the privacy policies of companies you do business with and see if they share information with data brokers. If you want to limit the amount of information that is shared, consider opting out of these programs.
Use privacy tools: Block or limit the amount of information collected about your online activities by using privacy tools, such as browser plugins.
Be cautious with surveys and contests: Data brokers can buy the information you provide when participating in surveys and contests, so be careful.
Check your credit reports: Regularly check your credit reports to see what information they collect and sell about you, and dispute any errors.
Use strong passwords: Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to protect your online accounts and limit the risk of unauthorized access to your personal information.
Support privacy-friendly laws and regulations: Support privacy-friendly laws and regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that give individuals greater control over their personal information.
Taking these steps can help limit the amount of personal information that data brokers collect and sell, although it is not possible to completely prevent your data from ending up on their site.