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Control Your Privacy Online

Control Your Privacy Online

By Gretchen Herault, CIPP

With all the news stories about online dangers and scams, do you sometimes feel like you've lost control over your personal information? While many Web sites today, including CareerOne, make strong efforts to protect their customers' personal information, the best way to keep your personal information safe is to do so yourself. How? By controlling what personal information you give to others, you help maintain your privacy. These tips can help you do just that.

Look for Signs a Web Site Is Safe

Look for a privacy statement or policy on Web sites you visit, and read it to learn what personal information is collected about you and how it is used. Determine if other information is collected about you and your use of the site, such as IP addresses, clickstream data and whether the site uses cookies or Web beacons.

Decide Who You Want to Hear From

You can decide whether to receive newsletters, updates or offers from a Web site. If you do sign up to receive them, you can always change your mind later. Usually, the Web site’s privacy statement will provide specific instructions about how you can opt out of these communications.

There should be no charge for opting out of marketing communications from the company. Keep in mind that some sites may still need to send you important emails that relate to a service you signed up for, so you may not be able to opt out of receiving emails altogether.

Manage Your Online Image

Take care to manage your information when networking, posting on message boards or blogging. If you participate in online social networks or on blogs, be careful about your contacts and the information you share. Connect only to people you trust. Do not post information about yourself you would not want shared with strangers.