Safeguard Your Privacy Online

Technology now provides companies with the ability to collect information about you and potentially give that information to others. While the Internet can serve as a tremendous resource for information, products and services, you should be sure to safeguard your privacy online by following these tips.

Keep your personal information private

Don’t disclose personal information–such as your address, telephone number, Social Security number or email address–unless you know who’s collecting the information, why they’re collecting it and how they’ll use it. If you have children, teach them to check with you before giving out personal or family information online.

Look for a company’s online privacy policy

Many companies with privacy practices post their privacy policy on their Web site. A company’s privacy policy should disclose what information is being collected on the Web site and how that information is being used.

Before you provide a company with personal information, check its privacy policy. If you can’t find a policy, send an email or written message to the Web site to ask about its policy and request that it be posted on the site.

Make choices

Many companies give you a choice on their Web site as to whether and how your personal information is used.

These companies allow you to decline–or "opt-out" of–having personal information, such as your email address, used or shared with other companies. Look for this as part of the company’s privacy policy.

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