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The Most Useful Web Services to Optimize Your Privacy Online

There’s something to be said for fighting fire with fire, especially when you don’t have any other choice. In this case, the fire being fought is the compromising of your personal information on the internet. Of course, there’s a (sort of) surefire way to ensure that your private information isn’t tracked, collected, bought, sold, and otherwise aggregated and traded online: Not going on the internet. Of course, that’s not feasible for most people.

That’s where fire to fight fire becomes necessary: Using web services and information on the internet against the internet sites that are collecting and trading your private information. These strategies range from passive protection to learning how to remove personal information from Google to going in and opting out of the data broker sites. Here are some of the best web services to ensure that your (often very) private information remains private.

Have I Been Pwned?

Email is one of the primary ways in which personal information can be compromised online. There is the risk of malware, spyware, adware, worms, Trojan horses, phishing, spear phishing, and number of other viruses and cyber threats. It’s just one of the reasons that taking security and privacy precautions online is so important. It also raises the question: How do I know if my email address has already been compromised?

One way to answer this question is to utilize the web service Have I Been Pwned (HIBP). Just plug your email address into their site to find out whether or not your email is among those that have been compromised by big hacking incidents.

Disposable Email

Finding out whether or not your email has been hacked is obviously an incredibly helpful service to have access to. More important though is to guarantee that your email is not hacked in the first place. One of the best possible ways to do this is to contract with a reputable privacy-protection and security-providing organization to “mask” your email address. Blur does exactly that and provides a variety of masking and privacy measures, including masking credit and debit card numbers.

Blur creates unlimited Masked Email addresses for you. With a Blur Masked Email address, whenever you have to provide your email to a third-party website, the address you give will not lead directly back to your personal inbox. So anyone hoping to use personal information from your email, or bombard you with anything spammy or scammy, will be dealing with a temporary proxy inbox. And if anything in it looks fishy, you can simply turn it off.

DeleteMe

DeleteMe is a privacy and security-protection service that allows you to remove personal information from Google as well as data broker sites. It does this by contacting data broker sites and insisting that they delete your personal information. Data brokers specialize in the buying and selling of personal information, largely to financial interests hoping to use your data for marketing and advertising.

As obnoxious as it is to be bombarded with “legitimate” spam ads and offers and everything else that accompanies financial interests getting your info, that’s not necessarily the biggest risk. Unfortunately, data brokers are not real discerning about who they sell your information to. As well, your information being out on the internet also puts you at greater risk of identity theft, hacking, scams, theft, and the like.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe has set the industry standard for optimizing the security and data privacy of anyone online. From their home base in Boston, DeleteMe has established a reputation within the privacy and security industry by combining the expertise of their privacy experts with the most effective security technology and strategies, with which they have provided more than 10 million consumer opt-outs successfully. Let DeleteMe secure the privacy of your data. They will ensure that your private information removal from Whitepages and the other data broker sites keeps your personal details as safe as possible.

Ensure that your personal information remains private with DeleteMe, at Joindeleteme.com

 

 

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2Uxyquf

What Doxxing Is and How to Avoid It

It’s hard to describe to members of the pre-internet generation how different life was before the World Wide Web changed everything. The ease of use and ubiquity of search engines alone represents an indescribable paradigm shift from a time when information on virtually anything you wanted to know about was at your fingertips.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the brave, relatively new world of information access has a downside. One of the biggest drawbacks of the information age is that it tends not to be picky about the information that’s shared, including information about you. And once shared, it’s hard to remove personal information from Google that’s aggregated by data brokers and tracked by search engines. Which brings us to the hateful world of “doxxing.”

What Is Doxxing?

There’s a common warning given to those interacting with strangers on the internet on social media, chat sites, dating sites, and the like: “Be careful, they could be anyone!” That superficial online obscurity can give people the idea that the internet is a place where privacy and anonymity exists. That belief is inaccurate, if not dangerous, and can be cruelly shattered by doxxing. Doxxing is the practice of sharing someone’s personal information—phone number, physical address, information about family members, photographs, very personal details, and the like—in a very public place.

Does Anyone Deserve It?

That may seem like an odd question to ask. It is one that is legitimately being asked, however, in response to the seeming rise in white supremacist and white nationalist activity. After the infamous “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, VA, an online movement began to identify and “dox” the participants. The attention resulted in several of the attendees being fired from their jobs after identification. However, an assistant professor from Arkansas, Kyle P. Quinn, was falsely identified as a participant and became the victim of widespread harassment. It’s generally agreed that the risk of false identification alone is sufficient to preclude the use of “acceptable” doxxing.

Doxxing and Swatting

One of the most dangerous peripheral risks of doxxing is the threat of “swatting.” Swatting is the practice of calling the police on someone to “prank” or punish them. It usually involves a malicious internet user or hacker acquiring the address of their target and calling the police to report something like a bomb threat at the address. The unsuspecting victim is then subject to a police SWAT team raiding their home. A swatting incident in December 2017 in which a false claim of violence and hostage-taking led to the fatal shooting of Andrew Finch in Wichita, KS.

How to Prevent It

There are a number of ways to prevent doxxing, many of them defensive. Everyone should have all of their social media profiles as private as possible, erase social media profiles and email addresses that are no longer used, and share as little personal information as possible online, particularly on social media. Additionally, they should seek out a service, like DeleteMe, for instance, that can show them how to remove personal information from Google. DeleteMe can also be contracted to contact the data brokers to insist your personal information be deleted. A DeleteMe subscription can remove personal information from over 30 data broker sites and keep it private year-round.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe has set the industry standard for optimizing the security and data privacy of anyone online. From their home base in Boston, DeleteMe has established a reputation within the privacy and security industry by combining the expertise of their privacy experts with the most effective security technology and strategies, with which they have provided more than 10 million consumer opt-outs successfully. Let DeleteMe secure the privacy of your data. They will ensure that your private information removal from Whitepages and the other data broker sites keeps your personal details as safe as possible.

Ensure that your personal information remains private with DeleteMe, at Joindeleteme.com

 

 

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2Zqbxg8

Common Types of Cyberattacks and How to Avoid Them

Cybercrime is proving an increasingly costly drain on the global economy. Research indicates that cyber attacks could cost companies globally about $5.2 trillion over the next five years—that’s more than a trillion dollars a year. Unfortunately, when there’s that much money at stake, there’s going to be a criminal population that’s both enthusiastic and innovative about fighting for a piece of those funds. The result of that criminal innovation is a whole selection of strategies for fleecing the unsuspecting of their money or information that can parlayed into money, just a few of which are featured here. Thankfully, there are strategies, like learning how to remove personal information from Google, that anyone can leverage to protect themselves against cyber predators.

 


Password Attacks

Password attacks are one of the oldest and least sophisticated, but still often effective, form of hacking and cyber-theft. The attacks are often perpetrated in two ways: targeted and brute force. Targeted attacks require the hacker to have discovered a password by social engineering, using someone’s personal information as potential passwords, or eavesdropping on information sharing between servers online to discover a password. Brute force attacks involve bombarding the password entry with thousands or millions of common passwords and even random words (those are also called “dictionary attacks”).

Prevention

It’s become something of a cliché, but it remains good advice: Have long passwords that are combinations of different cases, letters, numbers, and special characters. Entirely random strings are best. Never use personal information, children’s names, birthdays, hobbies, and so on as passwords. And don’t leave passwords written anywhere someone could see them.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks are also referred to as eavesdropping attacks. They involve a hacker gleaning information by “eavesdropping” on the sharing of information between servers. Once the MitM hacker gets access to that two-party information traffic, it’s easy to steal any of the information being shared, including (but not limited to) credit card numbers and bank information. MitM attacks are most often launched from unsecured Wi-Fi networks, particularly public ones, and by taking advantage of a device that’s been breached by a malware insertion.

Prevention

Preventing MitM attacks also requires some basic internet safety. Don’t use public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks, particularly in places such as coffee shops and fast food restaurants. (These are very popular haunts for cybercriminals.) Only do business on secure “HTTPS” sites. And always be sure your anti-virus and anti-malware security programs are up-to-date.

Phishing and Spear Phishing

Phishing and spear phishing are both popular with scammers because they’re cheap, relatively low risk, and often effective. They involve cyber criminals sending emails with an urgent call-to-action: A payment has been declined, a bank account has been compromised, you’ve been dropped from a service, and so forth. The link included to help resolve the issue introduces malware onto your computer, generally giving hackers access to it. Spear phishing is a less scattershot mailing list approach and involves the use of specific, researched information about someone and their organization to make the attacks more targeted and realistic.

Prevention

Practicing general email security strategies can certainly be helpful, as is removing or limiting your personal information that hackers could have access to online. Think twice about the personal information you offer online and share on social media and consider hiring a firm to remove personal information from Google as well as data broker sites. Perhaps most importantly: Don’t click links in emails unless you’re 100% certain the email is valid and genuinely came from the sender. If an unexpected email comes in from your bank, for instance, call your bank and confirm before you click.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe sets the standard in the industry for ensuring the privacy of your data and optimizing your online security. Based in Boston, DeleteMe has built this reputation by leveraging the expertise of their specialists and by providing over 10 million successful consumer opt-outs. DeleteMe has unmatched experience in and cutting-edge tools for securing data privacy and providing consumer security. They can assist with information removal from Whitepages and other data broker sites as well as search engines like Google.

Keep all of your personal information as private as it should be, at Joindeleteme.com

 

Original Source: https://bit.ly/2V7N7VY

How to Prevent, Spot, and Avoid Spear Phishing Attacks

Most of us are somewhat familiar with common email scams and have likely received fairly questionable messages asking for our personal details.

A princess needs just a little bit of your money to pay the banking fees that release her fortune, much of which will go to you for your trouble and your altruism. A lawyer (struggling with spelling and syntax) is pleased to inform you that a relative you were unaware of has died, leaving all of their wealth to you! The attorney just needs your banking information to successfully transfer the funds to you account. The list of examples goes on.

 


Maybe you got an email from a bank you don’t have an account with, or a service you don’t subscribe to requesting that you click a link to learn more. Clumsy phishing scams like this are familiar enough to become a cliché, if not a joke.

But being too confident when it comes to identifying scams can be a bad thing, leading many to lower their guard, assuming that internet scams are unsophisticated, only fooling the gullible and naïve. That’s not the case. It is estimated that cyber crime could cost businesses over $5.2 trillion over the next five years. With possible profits exceeding a trillion dollars a year, cyber criminals have every reason to keep at it, and do so with increasingly sophisticated strategies. One of the most insidious of those is “spear phishing.”

What Is Spear Phishing?

The concept of “phishing” is pretty well-known. It generally involves a sort of shotgun approach in which fraudsters send out usually official-looking emails that warn recipients of some urgent issue. There often is a link included to learn more about or to find out how to resolve the issue (though strategies vary). When clicked, the link infects the computer with malware. Spear phishing, on the other hand, isn’t a shotgun approach. It is targeted and elaborate.

The scammer uses specific information about the target’s life, business, hobbies, friends, personal details, and so on to make a scam email look incredibly official and accurate. For the money at stake, it is well worth it for the scammer to do a considerable amount of research, which often doesn’t require that much time or effort if they’re able to find your personal information through search engines, social media, or data broker sites. Spear phishing also often includes a link to sort out or learn more about the call-to-action cited by the email that’s actually malware. Attacks like this are one more reason why it’s wise to learn how to remove personal information from Google and also remove your private data from data broker sites.

How to Prevent, Spot, and Avoid It

One of the best ways to prevent being victimized by spear phishing attacks is to both limit and remove as much of your personal data from the internet as possible. Lock down your social media profiles with the highest privacy levels possible and be careful to avoid sharing overly personal information and data that you don’t want strangers accessing. You should follow this preventative step on networking sites and publicly-accessible forums and the like as well.

Contracting with an organization that can remove personal information from Google and the other data brokers is also an excellent way to keep your personal information private. A subscription service such as DeleteMe can even remove your personal information from data broker sites such as Whitepages and search engines like Google and keep it removed year-round, making you less of a spear phishing target.

Additionally, many of the same strategies for avoiding being taken in by a phishing scam apply to spear phishing. If you’re ever sent an email with an urgent message: Your bank account has been illegally accessed, your membership to a service has been cancelled, there’s a tax problem, a payment has been declined, even a subpoena, don’t simply click the link included. An easy and effective way to bypass potential malware infections is to contact the entity being cited in the email directly. Call your bank or the service mentioned and verify the information in the email. A company specializing in data privacy and protection is sure to have some valuable tips to share as well.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe sets the standard in the industry for ensuring the privacy of your data and optimizing your online security. Based in Boston, DeleteMe has built this reputation by leveraging the expertise of their specialists and by providing over 10 million successful consumer opt-outs. DeleteMe has unmatched experience in and cutting-edge tools for securing data privacy and providing consumer security. They can assist with information removal from Whitepages and other data broker sites as well as search engines like Google.

Keep all of your personal information as private as it should be, at Joindeleteme.com

 

Original Source: https://goo.gl/bnpFr2

How to Best Keep Your Personal Information Private When Using Social Media

There are likely millions of people who practice safe, common sense, shrewd personal security: We never use “password” for our password, we only use secure websites for purchases, and we don’t click on strange links. Perhaps we even take advantage of data broker opt-outs and remove personal information from Google.

 


Subsequently, we then log into our social media accounts and purposefully share information we’re incredibly careful about sharing in every other aspect of our lives. As rampant as identity theft, hacking, and online scamming has become, personal information security is more important than ever. And social media platforms are one of the richest sources of information for those hackers, thieves, and scammers. Thankfully, there are steps anyone can take to protect themselves and limit their information exposure.

Protect the Gates to Your Social Networks

A lot of this is ground that’s been covered fairly thoroughly before, but it bears repeating just to preclude complacency: Be careful with your passwords. Switch your passwords up every few months, don’t use personal information in them, but do include symbols, letters, numbers, and both lower and uppercase letters. Use varying passwords for different social media platforms, and always use passwords for your devices.

If someone was able to get access to your smartphone, would they also have access to your social media, email, or bank accounts? This speaks to why strong passwords—not “1234”—are essential for your devices. Additionally, be sure to delete any social media accounts you never use, and be very careful about accessing your social media or anything else with sensitive information on a free, unfamiliar, or possibly unsecure Wi-Fi connection. Hackers will often loiter around free Wi-Fi networks, particularly free popular ones at restaurants and coffee shops.

Remove Personal Information and Don’t Overshare

Removing social media network-adjacent information can be hugely helpful as well. Hackers use information gathered from several sources to steal an identity. Contracting with an organization that can demonstrate how to remove personal information from Google, or do it themselves, can prove crucial in securing your personal information. Refraining from oversharing on social media platforms is likewise a key piece of a security strategy. Rather than your exact address, just name the city. Consider if you really need to note your full birthday, including year, or if mentioning “late 20s” (or your appropriate age range) is sufficient. You should also avoid listing your phone number and should never share your social security number.

Additionally, reconsider the kinds of information that you give away in your social media posts. Information like your general schedule, class schedule, or mentioning your mother’s maiden name. Consider any password reminders you have set up and if the information you’re sharing online would answer those prompts.

And remember that this is the internet, which means removing information you share can be quite difficult, so it’s best to use precaution in the first place before anything gets spread far and wide. After all, teachers have been fired for posing with beer or wine in vacation pictures. So consider: Is a post something you’d want your boss to see? How about parents or coworkers? It’s not that you can’t share anything, but keep in mind that even if you delete something, it’s easy for people to take screenshots beforehand. Just consider posts carefully, in addition to your privacy settings.

Limit Friends, Limit Social Media Platforms, Limit Info

The point of social media platforms is connecting with and, yes, even making friends. However, the latter can be problematic. Think twice about adding anyone as a friend that you only know from the internet, particularly if you’ve only encountered them recently. And if you do add those you don’t know well, consider limiting their access to any of your personal information. In general, keep your privacy settings secure. Even on sites like LinkedIn, where including work and personal information is the point, only include your employment history and other pertinent info that’s truly useful for networking. There’s no reason to post anything that’s not strictly relevant to your career path. And again, if you’re not using a social media account you’ve set up, delete it, don’t let it just sit around for someone else to hack into. These steps will help keep your personal information private.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe is an industry leader in ensuring data privacy and online security. From their base in Boston, DeleteMe has built their reputation in part by leveraging the expertise of their team of specialists and have succeeded in providing over 10 million consumer opt-outs. Their team has decades of collective experience in identity theft, privacy, and consumer security. They can aid in removal from Whitepages, other data broker sites, and Google, as well as payment security and other means to protects your personal and financial security.

Ensure that your personal information remains yours alone, at Joindeleteme.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/arYXJ2

How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

It’s undoubtedly no surprise to anyone reading this, but identity theft is still a huge problem. It victimizes millions of people a year and takes a good amount of time and money to clear up. Collectively, identity theft costs both consumers and businesses billions. That means it’s in everyone’s best interest to learn how to remove personal information from Google and do everything else in their power to mitigate the threat of identity theft by keeping their personal information safe.

 


Shred Enthusiastically

One of the richest sources of information for identity thieves is personal mail. They will literally sort through trash to find bills, credit card applications, bank statements, and anything else with personal and financial information on it. Shred anything that has any of your useable personal information on it or that can be used to apply for a credit card, account, or to access or change banking information.

Erase as Much of Your Personal Information as Possible

Too few people are aware of the multi-billion-dollar data broker industry that specializes in storing and selling your personal information. Perhaps even fewer are aware that you can request that they delete your information. You can make those requests yourself, though there are dozens of data brokers, and many of them make the information removal requests as difficult as possible. Consider using a subscription service like DeleteMe to take your private details off data broker sites and to remove personal information from Google—and keep it removed year-round.

Check and Freeze Your Credit

Also not well-known is the option consumers have to contact the three big credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union, and request that their credit records be “frozen.” Freezing your credit restricts all access to your credit records until you contact the credit bureaus again and unfreeze your information. Each of the bureaus offers an app that allows you to lock and unlock your credit records whenever you want. You’re also entitled to one free credit check a year from each of the bureaus. Take advantage of that by checking your credit once every four months or so to ensure everything is in good standing.

Passwords and SSN: Keep Them Secret and Safe

Messages about keeping your passwords and social security number (SSN) safe are pretty common. Unfortunately, that ubiquity can result in those warnings being lost in the static of safety warnings. That’s a bad thing, as there’s virtually no gate that opens more directly to your finances and your most private information than passwords and your SSN. On the off-chance you’re not familiar with this information, be sure to use different passwords for different applications. Use complex passwords that incorporate symbols, numbers, and a change of case. Don’t use permutations of personal information (family members’ names, birthdays, and so on) or overly simple passwords such as “1234” or “password.” Give your SSN out only when absolutely necessary, and double-check requests for it to be sure they’re legitimate.

Read Your Mail

Reading mail seems like advice that doesn’t need to be given, but a lot of scammers take advantage of many consumers’ failure to read their mail thoroughly enough. Often just the basics are sufficient: Keep an eye out for new bills coming and old ones no longer coming. Go over your current bills and statements, looking for charges you don’t recognize and withdrawals you didn’t make. Anything you don’t recognize, changes without explanation, or something that strikes you as odd is worth looking into further. It’s better to find out more about a charge or change and make sure you’re the one who made it than risk losing money by ignoring it.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe is an industry leader in ensuring data privacy and online security. From their base in Boston, DeleteMe has built their reputation in part by leveraging the expertise of their team of specialists and have succeeded in providing over 10 million consumer opt-outs. Their team has decades of collective experience in identity theft, privacy, and consumer security. They can aid in removal from Whitepages, other data broker sites, and Google, as well as payment security and other means to protects your personal and financial security.

Ensure that your personal information remains yours alone, at Joindeleteme.com

 

Original Source: https://goo.gl/9WNbNP

How to Avoid Being Fooled by Phishing Scams

With great convenience, and virtually fathomless access to information, entertainment, and ecommerce, comes great risks. That’s the trade-off that all of us make when we use the internet. It’s a significantly greater risk when we use the internet for email and any kind of ecommerce. Doing so opens us up to attempted hacks, identity thieving scams, viruses, malware, spyware, scareware, pharming, and a variety of other criminal schemes.

 


Among the most common and one of the most dangerous schemes is “phishing.” For the uninitiated, phishing is an email-based scam in which a cyber-criminal (or group of them) send emails purported to be legitimate, from legitimate businesses or friends, that actually contain malicious links or attachments. The point of phishing is to extract private, personal information, and eventually money, from the unsuspecting victim. If there’s anything encouraging about phishing, however, it’s that the people threatened by phishing scams have recourse and can also take steps to avoid being fooled by phishing scams.

Perhaps the most important rule of avoiding phishing scams is to not click on links you’re sent in an email. (And one of the most effective methods to prevent being reached by phishing emails is learning how to remove personal information from Google.) Unfortunately, even your bank, companies you work with, and friends and family can be suspect. After all, logos can be faked, and even if you keep your personal information private, the accounts of friends and family members can still be hacked.

But there are warning signs. If anything seems “off” or you encounter any of the following, proceed with caution:

● Logos that look “off”

● Misspellings and other inconsistencies

● URLs that don’t match the company’s name

● Unsecured URLs (“http” rather than “https” accompanied by the padlock icon)

● URLs with foreign domains

● URLs with chunks of gibberish early in the address

The best practice regarding any link you’re sent via email is to ignore the link or attachment and contact the actual company, or the person who supposedly sent you the message. Often, the earlier-mentioned “scareware” scamming will play a part in phishing. You’ll be told some feature of your computer, banking, or something else has been compromised and you need to click a link, open an attachment or provide additional information. In addition to never clicking a link or opening an attachment from an email you’re not quite sure about, you should also never fill out forms asking for personal information in an email; particularly if it’s asking for financial data. Any message saying that you’ve won a competition you didn’t enter or should log into a site you aren’t a member of should likewise be deleted.

Along with generally being wary, there are some steps you can take to remain safer and keep your personal information secure. Either learn how to do it yourself or contract with a company that can remove personal information from Google. When contracting with a company that can remove your information from Google and data broker sites, choose one that offers disposable email addresses. Having a disposable email address (or more than one) can be useful measure. You can use a disposable email address when you need to provide an email address but don’t want to share your personal one and open yourself up to mountains of spam messages. After all, the less spam you encounter, the better—and the less likely your personal email address will be targeted for a phishing scam.

About DeleteMe

With more than 10 million consumer opt-outs, DeleteMe is a leader in data privacy and security. Based in Boston, they have built that reputation by leveraging their team’s expertise regarding consumer protection, identity theft, and privacy. That expertise is represented by their effective, user-friendly suite of comprehensive privacy solutions. Whether you’re concerned about password protection and removal from Whitepages, or payment security and anything else that protects personal and financial security, DeleteMe is the online service you need to keep your personal information private year-round.

Guarantee that your information remains yours alone, at Joindeleteme.com

 

Original Source: https://goo.gl/5sf1P4

Why You Should Care About Your Business’s Online Reputation and What You Can Do About It

While it’s a fantastic understatement to point out that the internet has changed the world of commerce, sometimes the differences between ecommerce and good old brick-and-mortar trade are overstated. For instance, the reputation of a business, online or on the street, is incredibly important in determining a company’s success or failure. The difference is, before the internet, the reputation of any business but one famous or infamous enough to be discussed in the local or national media was virtually 100% attributable to word of mouth.

 


That’s not the case with the internet. It’s an understandable dynamic and perhaps a fair trade-off: a merchant, from the comfort of their living room, now has access to literally hundreds of millions of customers all over the planet. For better or worse, however, those hundreds of millions of customers have access to that merchant—and that merchant’s online reputation. As hard as it can be to remove personal information from Google, including information influencing businesses and potential customers, reputation management online is entirely possible. And incredibly important.

Why Online Reputation Management Is Important

The online reputation of a business isn’t just an abstract consideration. Online reputation management is extremely important for a number of reasons, and having a negative online reputation can be costly in more ways than one.

It Can Sway Customers

Negative comments about your products, services, customer service, or an overall negative review can cost you customers. Many people read reviews before purchasing products or booking services. Make sure your online reputation encourages potential customers to follow through on their actions.

It Can Scare Away Potential Employees

If the internet has nothing good to say about your business, products, or services, it doesn’t bode well for prospective employees researching your company before applying. Just like you’re looking at their social media activity and searching for them in Google, they’re doing the same for you and your business. Make sure accurate information is being shared about your organization online and that your online presence excites, rather than scares away potential hires.

It Can Impact Business Relationships

Just as consumers might not want to support a company they’ve read nothing but bad things about; the same goes for potential business relationships. Make sure your organization’s strong mission and well-reviewed services or products are what those you’d like to work with see.

How to Improve Your Online Reputation

So it’s clear that online reputation matters. And unfortunately, even the most honest, reliable, trustworthy, and generally well-regarded company can suffer from attacks on their reputations. Misconstrued and quote-mined misquoting, vengeful competitors or even ex-employees posting dishonest libel, as well as photos of employees or management acting inappropriately can besmirch an otherwise spotless reputation. So it’s something anyone who does business, no matter how ethically and morally, online (or hopes to attract decent employees, clients, etc. online; so all companies, pretty much) should be concerned with.

Offer a Thoughtful Response

Cleaning up an online reputation doesn’t have any quick fixes. It requires scanning social media, review aggregators like Yelp, search engines, and more for negative comments and dealing with them. If they are opinions and the site allows for a response, it helps to respond with an explanation, apology, offer for help or a refund, or whatever else might be appropriate to remedy the situation.

Work to Remove Lies and Libel

If it’s something that’s actually a lie, particularly a malicious one, contact the site directly to have it removed. That often requires quite a bit of endurance. If it’s actually libel (someone lying about fraud, accusing employees or management of criminality, etc.), consider employing legal help to have it removed. It can also be valuable to engage a company that specializes in the removal of personal information online and helps with reputation management.

Keep Employee Information Private

Things seemingly out of your control can also garner a poor online reputation, be it an account hack sending spam emails, or the identity theft of an employee. But by contracting with a company that specializes in keeping employee information private, businesses large and small can help keep personal information safe and learn how to remove personal information from Google if need-be. Be sure to contract with a company that specializes in online privacy protection and will customize plans so you get what your business needs. Prevention should always be a part of your online reputation management strategy.

About DeleteMe

With more than 10 million consumer opt-outs, DeleteMe is a leader in data privacy and security. Based in Boston, they have built that reputation by leveraging their team’s expertise regarding consumer protection, identity theft, and privacy. That expertise is represented by their effective, user-friendly suite of comprehensive privacy solutions. Whether you’re concerned about password protection and removal from Whitepages, or payment security and anything else that protects personal and financial security, DeleteMe is the online service you need to keep your personal information private year-round.

Guarantee that your information remains yours alone, at Joindeleteme.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/uS79vE

Online Privacy Concerns You Might Not Have Considered

The issue of internet privacy and security is increasingly shifting from a fingers-crossed “it won’t happen to me” dynamic to one in which virtually everyone has either had their identity stolen, their information exposed in a massive hack, or knows someone who has. In light of this, people are getting better about not having predictable passwords and being sure only to give payment information to secure sites and the like.

 


Unfortunately, there are a number of ways in which internet use can leave anyone vulnerable to hacks and information exposure. Do you have a social media account that you use or, perhaps more importantly, that you don’t? Do you know how to remove personal information from Google? How familiar are you with your workplace’s privacy policy? Getting the answers and solutions to these questions (at least) could save you a whole lot of grief.

Online Profiles You’ve Stopped Using

There’s no other entity that inspires billions of people to willingly share their personal information, workplace, whereabouts, interests, appearance, habits, and often candid thoughts and opinions with, potentially, millions of other people than social networks. That makes them a dream come true for hackers, stalkers, identity thieves, privacy-ignoring corporations, and data brokers. As people come to recognize that, their social network use has often become more cautious and more guarded.

But what about that social network profile you set up years ago, maybe in high school or college—the one you haven’t looked at in years? What sort of pictures did you post there? What’s the likelihood that you made claims or shared opinions that would be an embarrassment to you now? And how would you feel about your friends, family, kids, coworkers, or boss reading them now? That’s the thing about the internet: anything you post there, however long ago, there’s a good chance it’s still there. The best practice is to delete any profiles that you no longer use to remove the risk of an account hack likely to go unnoticed, or your personal information being shared.

Defeating the Data Brokers

The previous section mentioned “data brokers.” Despite the brokering of data being a multi-billion dollar business, a lot of people are entirely unaware of it. While they may be aware that companies leverage their basic information, Google searches, and purchase history, etc. for advertising or research purposes, they would likely be shocked to find out just how personal and intimate much of the data collected by the data brokers is.

Thankfully, there are organizations out there that will remove personal information from Google for you. It’s also possible to look up the online data brokerages and manually request that they delete your information, though that can be a fairly tedious process. Fortunately, a reputable data removal organization can do it for you. The best of them will also offer a subscription service so that your personal information will remain private and stay removed year-round. Make sure they provide an accounting of the information they have deleted as well for added peace of mind.

Not Educating Yourself About Your Workplace’s Privacy Policy

Most workplaces are generally decent about it, but if you’re using hardware or devices paid for by the company, chances are that they are allowed to monitor you on it. The same usually goes for the use of a company’s software or networks on your own device. Your workplace may also have strict guidelines or policies around bringing your own device (BYOD), the networks or Wi-Fi connection you use, etc.

Educate yourself regarding your business’s privacy policy. There is always the possibility that even the most responsible, seemingly innocuous, best-practices and due-diligence compliant device or internet use may be violating rules you’re not fully aware of. And while being let go for any reason is miserable, being fired for what you thought was perfectly reasonable behavior while working hard is even worse.

About DeleteMe

Based in Boston, DeleteMe has established a national reputation as the premier private and personal information-protection organization. They have accomplished this by leveraging the expertise of their identity theft, consumer protection, and privacy teams to establish a comprehensive suite of privacy solutions that are both effective and user-friendly. If you’re concerned with password protection, payment security, removal from Whitepages, and whatever else protects security, personal and financial, you’ll find that DeleteMe is the preeminent security solution.

Guarantee that your information remains yours alone, at Joindeleteme.com

 
Original Source: https://goo.gl/ymKoe7

Privacy Issues and Mistakes That Can Make Your Life Far More Difficult and Get You Fired

With the recent wave of high-profile data breaches, business hacks, private information dumps, and financial network intrusions, internet security and privacy have gotten quite a bit of press. A lot of the online security basics are pretty well known: Have strong passwords, don’t open email attachments sent by strangers, and chances are there’s not really a foreign princess waiting to enrich and possibly marry you if only you’d share your account information.

 


However, there are more specific privacy and security issues that can instigate misery, embarrassment, financial catastrophe, and even loss of your job. For instance, do you know your employer’s BYOD policy? Do you know how to remove personal information from Google? Do you know if your anti-virus/anti-malware software is up to date? The following list outlines some common internet security threats and mistakes and how those threats can be diminished or resolved with a bit of research and a little proactive risk mitigation.

Not Knowing (or Ignoring) Your Organization’s BYOD Policy

The bring your own device (BYOD) policy can vary 180 degrees from one company to the next. Many smaller (and larger) companies encourage employees using their own devices to work on either in-office or remotely. There are a number of benefits to BYOD. It’s convenient, generally more mobile, and people are often more comfortable on their own devices, to name a few.

However, a lot of organizations expressly forbid the using of personal devices due to security risks. Often personal devices will have a lower level of protection than dedicated company devices and using them can put private, sensitive, proprietary, personal, and financial data at risk. Which means that using those devices, even if nothing bad happens, can sometimes get you fired. If you don’t know your company’s BYOD policy, find out. Ask a manager, and if they don’t know it, they’ll know who will.

Dealing with the Data Brokers

Despite data brokering being a multi-billion dollar business, the average person knows next to nothing about data brokers. Every time you do a Google search, or really use the internet at all, data brokers are collecting your information. Those data brokers are organizations that scour and scrape the internet for information about you. Some of it is pretty innocuous, like your name, birthday, age, sex, etc. While some of it is incredibly personal. They buy and sell that information largely for corporate advertising and demographic analysis.

Beyond strangers knowing, buying, and selling your most intimate personal details being creepy, it definitely represents what most people would consider a pretty profound breach of privacy and can be used for nefarious purposes. Fortunately, there are services and organizations you can contract with to remove personal information from Google.

Adding Bosses and Coworkers as Friends on Social Media

Even if your boss and coworkers are the most fun, most laid-back people imaginable, it’s just not a great idea to “friend” them on social media networks. If you’re curious why, look up the case of the teacher who, while on vacation in Europe, posted to her profile a seemingly innocuous picture of herself holding alcohol. She was fired for it.

The picture had been protected with a privacy setting on “high,” leading to the conclusion that it had to be a “friend” from work who had emailed the shot to the school board. Even if you don’t believe that any of your work friends would report you, do keep in mind that any number of posts, pictures, claims, friends’ comments, etc. can put coworkers and definitely bosses in uncomfortable and unfortunate positions. Sometimes unfortunate enough that they are obligated to let you go.

About DeleteMe

Based in Boston, DeleteMe has established a national reputation as the premier private and personal information-protection organization. They have accomplished this by leveraging the expertise of their identity theft, consumer protection, and privacy teams to establish a comprehensive suite of privacy solutions that are both effective and user-friendly. If you’re concerned with password protection, payment security, removal from Whitepages, and whatever else protects security, personal and financial, you’ll find that DeleteMe is the preeminent security solution.

Guarantee that your information remains yours alone, at Joindeleteme.com

 

Original Source: https://goo.gl/mmBbBm

 

What Exactly Do Data Brokers Know About You?

Data brokers collect and store personal information on nearly every U.S. consumer. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that a single data broker company has information on 1.4 billion consumer transactions, totaling over 700 billion data points and 3,000 data segments for nearly every American consumer.
But what information are data brokers collecting?

You’ve likely heard of companies collecting personal information such as name, address, age, and e-mail. You may also have heard about data brokers collecting information on voting registration, purchasing history, criminal records, or vehicle registration.

However, data brokers can go much further than this.

They also collect information on “life-event triggers,” including marriage, divorce, births, deaths, and even buying a home. They also collect salary information, paystub data, and charitable donations. This information is then sold to companies and marketing agencies to help them target their advertising more effectively.

For example, a home warranty company could purchase a list of new homeowners to target their home warranty sales or advertisements. Companies pay a lot of money for this information, and there’s a pretty good reason why: By one estimate, a data brokerage division of a company adds more than 290,000 records on new homeowners each month.

These companies don’t just collect information, they use it to make inferences about you and place you into consumer groups. The FTC explains these topics can include assumptions such as “dog owners” or “romance novel readers,” or more sensitive categories such as “interested in diabetes” or “low educational attainment and low net worth.”

The FTC explains that these categories can put consumers at risk without the consumer knowing about it. The report reveals, “While data brokers have a data category for ‘Diabetes Interest’ that a manufacturer of sugar-free products could use to offer product discounts, an insurance company could use that same category to classify a consumer as higher risk.”

Experts, including the FTC, explain that while there are steps consumers can take to remove personal information from Google, there is very little individuals can do to stop data broker companies from collecting data and selling it for marketing purposes.

According to the FTC: “Broker practices have grown dramatically in breadth and depth, as data brokers have the ability to collect information from more sources, including consumers’ online activities; analyze it through new and emerging algorithms and business models; and store the information indefinitely due to dwindling storage costs. Despite the Commission’s recommendations, lack of transparency and choice remain significant issues in this industry.”

This lack of transparency leaves consumers largely in the dark about what information is being collected and how it is being used.

That’s where companies like DeleteMe come in. DeleteMe works to remove your personal information from data broker websites, which then reduces your online profile in Google and other search engines. Additionally, if you’re seeking removal from Whitepages and other sites that store your address or phone number, DeleteMe works swiftly to erase your personal information.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe empowers people to control how their personal information is accessed and shared online. The subscription service removes details like names, addresses, and phone numbers from websites such as PeopleFinders, Spokeo, and DexKnows, in order to help clients remove personal information from Google and aid in removal from Whitepages.

For more information, visit Joindeleteme.com




Original Source: https://goo.gl/p7a4z8

How to Delete Your Personal Information from the Internet—for Free

We’ve all heard the horror stories of what can happen when the wrong people get their hands on your personal information: false credit card charges, fraudulent bank withdrawals, and stolen identities.

If you’re concerned about your personal information, it’s not enough to simply block pop-up ads or delete browser cookies. You may want to consider ways to remove personal information from Google altogether.

 



There are many professional services available to help manage your online presence. However, if you’re cost-conscious, there are also several free options you can try to eliminate your online information.

Option 1: Delete Online Accounts

The websites that make our lives easier¾think Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Facebook, etc.¾also store a lot of our personal information, including full name, email, date of birth, address, etc.

Deleting these accounts, especially the ones you don’t use anymore, is an easy step toward removing your online profile. Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Facebook each have different instructions for deleting your account, so be prepared to spend some time going through each site.

Option 2: Delete at the Source

While Google might be displaying your personal information, a different site most likely owns the file. If you have posted content on blog sites or created an account to comment on a news story, that original website holds the information.

It might be arduous, but your best bet is to go back to that original site and delete your account or content at the source.

Option 3: Contact the Offenders

It is very likely that you will need to contact data brokers¾the companies that find, aggregate, and sell your personal information. While it sounds daunting, there are some free but time-consuming steps you can take to facilitate your information’s removal from Whitepages and other data broker sites.

It’s important to note that each data broker company sets up a different opt-out process.

One way to opt-out? Contact them by phone or e-mail. This method might take seven to ten business days to delete your information, but it is relatively easy to do.

Another method: Determine if the company has an opt-out form. This still might take two to three business days, but it is also relatively easy.

A third option: Create an account. This might sound counter-intuitive if you’re trying to eliminate your online presence, but by creating an account and verifying your information you can then file a claim within a data broker’s system, requesting your information be removed. This method creates an official claim with the data broker and can lead to your information being removed almost immediately.

A final option: Turn to the professionals. It’s not free, but DeleteMe is in the business of protecting and removing your personal information. They know the companies to target and can take the stress and time of of managing online privacy off of your shoulders.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe empowers people to control how their personal information is accessed and shared online. The subscription service removes details like names, addresses, and phone numbers from websites such as PeopleFinders, Spokeo, and DexKnows, in order to help clients remove personal information from Google.

For more information, visit Joindeleteme.co


Original Source: https://goo.gl/NwgPJ4

The Billion Dollar Industry You Know Next to Nothing About

There is an entire industry out there committed to gathering and selling your personal information. They operate with almost no regulation, and many individuals aren’t even aware of their existence or how their information is being used.

Data brokers, as they’re known, use your ambivalence to their advantage. They gather the information you provide via the internet and daily life, regularly. They collect your personal information from a variety of nonpublic and public sources: forms you fill out while shopping online, your social media, the interactions you have with public institutions (weddings, deaths, registration of your vehicles, etc.) all end up producing information about you. Fortunately, there is a way to remove personal information from Google.

According to the The New York Times, one data broker’s servers “process more than 50 trillion data ‘transactions’ a year. Company executives have said its database contains information about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. That includes a majority of adults in the United States.” These mass amounts of information include the basics, such as your name, age, religion, address, ethnicity, occupation, and your level of education. In addition, they collect more detailed information that concern your preferences, medical histories, and major life events and credit-driven data. They know if you’ve purchased a home, gotten married, been divorced, or are putting your kid through university. After they gather this information, or buy it, then, they sell it to whoever has the funds and inclination to purchase it.

The good news is, regulations are starting to take effect that will aid in protecting you and your data, however, it is a slow process. The best way to remove personal information from Google and other sites that store your data is to hire a professional. They will scour the web for you and remove information as it repopulates, taking the hassle out of your hands and protecting you at the same time.

About DeleteMe

Based out of Boston, Abine is a privacy company on a mission to make the internet a better, safer environment while putting people back in control of their data. Led by consumer protection, privacy, and identity theft experts, they are passionate about making easy-to-use privacy solutions for everyday people. From removal from Whitepages to password and payment security they are here to help you navigate the convoluted thoroughfare that is the world wide web.

Get protected at Joindeleteme.com

 

Original Source: https://goo.gl/2xPRwT