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Four Ways to Limit Collection of Your Data Online

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Every time you do anything on the internet, countless pieces of data are collected. Different companies do different things with your information. Some of them might use it for marketing, while others simply want to track what you do online. There are ways to keep your information more private. You could also take a big data course to learn about what corporations and other entities do with the data collected from you when you are on the internet. Use these tips for enhancing your digital privacy.

1. Pay Attention to Cookies

When you visit a website, pay attention to whether or not it collects cookies. In a big data course, you can find out what companies do with those cookies. Some websites pop up an alert the first time you visit them. This is related to the European Union’s GDPR, which was implemented in May 2018. Companies must notify users if they collect cookies and what they do with the data.

2. Use a Separate Email for Online Purchases and Accounts

If you do not want big data to have the email address that you use for work or personal correspondence, set up a separate email for your online purchases and accounts. Gmail makes it easy for you to do this. Gmail will even link those accounts. Once linked, you can log in once and see separate folders for each of the linked accounts. For example, if you have an email for online shopping with Amazon, you could have that address be called YourName-amazon@gmail.com.

3. Dedicate a Separate Card to Online Purchases

If possible, use a separate credit or debit card for your online purchases. If someone gains access to your account information, it will not jeopardize the card you use for other activities. You can also easily track your online purchases if you use a dedicated card for it. If a company’s data gets hacked or stolen, you could cancel that card without causing problems for payments or purchases on the card you use for in-person purchases.

4. Disable Links Between Social Media and Other Platforms

You can limit some collection of your data by disabling links between your social media accounts and other platforms. For example, you can set up your Facebook account to not track information from your activities on news websites or shopping websites. This might mean that the ads you see are less specific to what you buy, but it also means that social media companies will collect less information about what you do on the internet.

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