Corporate data mining actually stems from a practice employed by our Federal Government and insurance companies. This was a way for them to detect fraudulent claims and regulate the Medicare industry. Now these tactics are being used by big business to identify trends in their consumers and find new ways to reach out to them through social media and other online techniques.
Almost every service provided online comes with a cost, and that cost is your personal information. There are actually dedicated websites and companies who do nothing more than provide leads to businesses for a cost per lead. This is done with malicious intent to solicit your personal and contact information to as many sources as possible. There are ways to avoid this from happening if you are careful.
There are a few basic things that can be done in just a few minutes to better protect you. Most internet browsers and computer operating systems have multiple options for adjusting your level of privacy when using the internet and email. These are some great preliminary actions to take to guard your information. In your internet browser, whether it is Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Safari you will find privacy setting options in one of your toolbars.
In these options you want to look to disable third party cookies and websites. You can also adjust your level of security to control websites ability to automatically collect your digital footprint and manipulate how and what information you view in future visits.
When purchasing items online you are usually required to enter in your debit/credit card information. You want to pay attention to if there are re-occurring charges and always select to opt-out of future promotions and contact. Opting out may take a few steps; they don’t make it easy for you. Once you find the option to do so (usually in the bottom of the page somewhere in very tiny font) click the text and go through the steps which will direct you through an email many times to take yourself off the list. If you have the option pay with cash or check to avoid your banking information being collected and put into a company’s data base.
A new tactic being used to collect your information and the information of all of your contacts is requiring you to register for applications using your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. This is not only a way to put yourself out in the market, but every contact you have stored on your phone and every social media contact that you have as well. Companies are doing this on purpose to better target consumer trends and find your likes and interests to sell you their goods and services.
The more you can stay off the radar the better. Every time you choose to add your information more and more companies will be reaching out to you through social media, email, or phone. There are many more ways to contact consumers these days, and data mining techniques are constantly being developed to grow an entire new industry of advertising and sales.