A Call To Action: The Big Problem With Data Brokers
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be well aware of the risks involved in using the internet.
14:21 12 December 2022
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be well aware of the risks involved in using the internet. However, try to imagine your life without it and suddenly things get very complicated, very fast. The internet is no longer simply a tool to access basic information, nor is it any longer used solely for entertainment purposes. It is intertwined with almost every aspect of our lives, whether it is socially or professionally. So, when you are in a situation in which you cannot go without something, you should focus on what you can control. When it comes to using the internet, managing your data is crucial. This article will take a look at the data your online activities create, what data brokers are, and the measures you can take to ensure that you are protected online. So, without further ado, let’s get started…
What is Personal Data?
As mentioned earlier, it would be next to impossible to live the life you want to in the digital age without accessing the internet on a daily basis. The objective should not be to stop using such an incredible tool but to understand what you are leaving behind when you do. In other words, we are talking about data.
In essence, you can think of your personal data as your digital footprint. It is the trail that is collected as a direct result of your online activities. This includes, but is not limited to, your confidential information, browser history, and your social media activity. When you think of things such as your name, address, identification card number, passwords, bank details, IP address, and cookie ID, these are all examples of the type of data that you may be leaving behind when you surf the internet.
What are Data Brokers?
Once you learn that you are potentially exposing sensitive information online, it can come as a shock. When you discover what data brokers are, you may very well want to take action immediately. Data brokers collect the aforementioned personal information of individuals in order to sell or license it to third parties.
Once they have collected said information, they create a personal profile containing all of the data you have left behind as a result of your internet usage. This information is used and sought after for a multitude of reasons. The personal data profiles can be used to determine credit scores and health insurance rates, as well as to tailor personalised ads targeting you specifically. Worse still, they can be used to facilitate cybercrimes including scams, identity theft, extortion, and even online stalking.
How to Protect Yourself From Data Brokers
The simplest way to protect yourself from data brokers is to remove any personal information you have online that is not necessary. Additionally, you should request that data brokers remove whatever data they have collected on you. The result of this will be that you are less likely to have your identity stolen, to receive spam emails, to have your PII purchased, and/or to be hacked.
In order to do this, you should consider using a data removal service. They are able to use their knowledge of CCPA, GDPR, and other applicable privacy laws to ensure that data brokers remove any and all of the personal information they are storing. Fully automated tools such as Incogni, are specifically designed to aid in removing your sensitive information from data broker databases. These user-friendly data removal tools will continually monitor that data brokers are not acquiring your data and therefore decrease the risk that you will be the victim of a cybercrime.
The Bottom Line
The internet is a fundamental element of life in the 21st century. While there are and always will be risks with using it, you should be able to do so with peace of mind. The first step in doing this is to understand the dangers of data brokers and then to take action to ensure that your personal information is safe and secure, just as it should be.