Consumers: 7 things to do to protect your privacy online

April 9, 2022

As a consumer, it can be hard to understand how a website handles your data, and even harder to know what to do about it. Companies bury information in legal disclosures like their privacy policy or gather information using complex tracking mechanisms that you can’t even see. What’s more, each website is completely different.

The good news is that we are here to help. We built a portal for consumers to quickly understand how a company manages their data. Try it out for yourself here: https://www.zendata.xyz/consumer-report

Found something concerning? Wondering what you can do next to protect your privacy? Taking these7 steps will go a long way in protecting your data & privacy online. We’ve organized them starting with the easiest to implement:

  1. Adjust privacy settings: Major platforms like Google/Facebook etc., offer privacy control centers you can use to select how they get to use your data. Here are a couple of great articles that show you how to check and fix your settings:
    - https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/23/facebook-privacy-settings/
    - https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/23/google-privacy-settings/
  2. Install browser plugins: Browsers plugins like Privacy badger help block trackers (Web trackers are scripts which sites use to gather data points from their visitors. To put it simply, companies seek to obtain as much information as they can about you so that they can advertise to you as precisely as possible. ) automatically, Global Privacy Control automatically send “Do not sell data” and “Stop companies from using it for a particular purpose — like marketing” on your behalf
  3. Change your web browser: Not all web browsers are made the same. Firefox, for example, has better privacy control options than chrome. You can take a look at the list of best and worst browsers for privacy here
  4. Fine-tune browser settings to reduce data leakage(unauthorized transmission of data from within an organization to an external destination or recipient.): Suggestions on settings to change for Firefox
  5. Change your search engine to one which is more privacy-centric: like Duckduckgo and Dogpile are a couple of examples
  6. Utilize rights offered by privacy regulations: Local regulations like CCPA and GDPR offer residents of the respective regions to see the data a company has on them and request to modify it, delete it, or opt-out of its sale.
    - This site maintains the list of company opt-out pages to exercise your rights: https://caprivacy.github.io/caprivacy/
    - Focus on data aggregators: Acxiom, Infogroup, Factual, and Localeze are among the most significant data aggregators globally. Request for a copy of your data or data deletion
  7. Look yourself up: Remove public records and opt-out of people search sites

Finally, tracking technologies keep evolving. Oftentimes they are purposefully unobvious (take Ultrasonic tracking apps for example). We will keep up with these technologies/mechanisms and provide you the consumer an easy way to understand how your data is captured and used.

If you have any questions/feedback we would love to hear from you. Please drop us a note here: help@zendata.xyz