Protecting Your Privacy Online
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                      Protect Your Digital Privacy 

Protecting Your Privacy Online

Six Easy Ways to Protect Your Privacy
Myrtle Welch
Source - Legal Resource Center

Are you concerned about the expanded capability that exist
to collect, store and use data about our personal,
financial and Medical histories? Here are a few ways to
help protect your Privacy.

  1. Credit Records
    Get a copy of your credit report at least once a year. Check for inaccuracies and correct mistakes before you apply for a job, credit or insurance. Three major credit reporting systems are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Negative information must be re-verified within 30 days after your request or the error will be remove from your file. Go to `Online Resources' and look under Consumer Law for contact information.
  2. Medical Records
    Ask for a copy of your file from the Medical Information Bureau. Information from this data bank is shared by insurers and helps them guard against fraud. Verify the accuracy and completeness of your records with your healthcare provider. The address for the MBI is at the website.
  3. Incentive Programs
    Provide only necessary information on incentive, rebate and warranty program forms. This data can be used to create mailing lists that are then sold to marketers. Returning warranty cards is beneficial so manufacturers can warn you about product warnings and recalls. Request in writing to opt out of any of their marketing programs.
  4. Telecommunications
    Try to opt out of caller identification services. Caller ID
    allows you to see numbers before you pick up the phone - you can choose not to answer. There are blocking mechanisms to prevent your number from being displayed when you phone out. Be aware that when you dial 800 and900 numbers, the firm may match your number to your name and address to add to customers lists for marketing.

    Cellular and cordless phone conversations are easily monitored. Do not reveal credit card numbers or other personal information when using these phones.
  5. Direct Marketing
    Ask organizations you do not wish to receive mail from to remove your name from their lists. Contact the Direct Marketing Association to have your name removed from the lists of DMA members. Hit the `remove' URL from unsolicited email and block the address.
  6. Identification
    Do not permit merchants to record your credit or charge card number on personal checks. Exceptions are special purposes that you have pre-approved, such as emergency check cashing. Do not write your telephone number on credit or charge card slips.

    For additional ways to protect your privacy as a consumer, contact your local or state consumer protection agency. Addresses and phone numbers can be found at the website.

Myrtle Welch is an Independent Associate with Pre-Paid
Legal Services Inc. Low cost legal plans available for
individuals, families and business. FREE documents, forms,
contracts at online Legal Resource Centre
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