In today’s digital world, email is one of the main ways we contact each other. 14 years ago, Congress signed a set of rules called the CAN-SPAM Act designed to protect consumer privacy and limit the amount and type of unsolicited marketing messages they receive.
10 Opt-Outs to Increase Your Privacy
Jackie here. Are you looking for ways to increase your privacy? The World Privacy Forum has compiled a list of their Top 10 Opt-Outs. While the list is in no way comprehensive it contains those opt-outs that the group feels are most important and most useful. Increase your personal privacy today by choosing one (or more) of the opt-outs that appeal to you. Which opt-outs will you choose?
Check out the complete list of the World Privacy Forum’s Top 10 Opt-outs here. You’ll also find helpful tips and additional information for completing each one.
Do Not Call Registry
If you’re tired of receiving marketing calls on your home phone or cell phone the Do Not Call Registry is for you. You can register your personal phone numbers, but not business numbers. This opt-out is an easy one. Just call 888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register or visit www.donotcall.gov.
Opt-out of Pre-Screened Credit Offers
If you visit www.optoutprescreen.com you can stop receiving prescreened credit card offers. This opt-out can be a valuable tool in fighting ID theft as thieves occasionally use these prescreened offers to establish credit accounts. We’ve shared this resource with you in the past, but if you haven’t signed up yet, do it today.
Direct Marketing Opt-outs
Are you getting too much junk mail? An opt-out with the Direct Marketing Association (also called the DMA) can drastically reduce the amount of marketing mail and catalogs you receive. You can also use this opt-out to remove the names of deceased people from mailing lists. Visit the DMA website for more information.
Financial Institution Opt-outs
You’ve probably seen opt-out and unsubscribe links at the bottom of some commercial emails. Legitimate opt-outs can reduce the amount of marketing email you receive from companies, although the amount of spam you receive is likely to remain the same.
If you’re at a heightened risk for ID theft, you might want to lock down your credit with a credit freeze. This stops credit bureaus from sharing your credit information and typically stops new credit accounts from being opened in your name. It’s a powerful tool for fighting ID theft, but since it does effectively “freeze” your credit, you might not want to sign up if you plan on getting loans in the near future. A freeze doesn’t stop your current credit cards from working. You can “thaw” your credit temporarily if you need to open a new credit account using a special PIN. Here’s a helpful resource about credit freezes from the FTC.
Stop your educational data from being shared using a FERPA opt-out. This is available to students (K-12 and college) and parents of students under 18. Policies vary from school to school, ask at your school or do a search online to find out policies.
Data Broker Opt-outs
We talk a lot about Big Data here on the AllClear ID blog. Many of the data brokers offer opt-outs of some sort, but as the World Privacy Forum mentions, “…data broker opt-outs are generally quite limited, and it is nearly impossible to tell just what effect an opt-out will actually have. When you read the opt-out offerings carefully, you will see that they are often qualified.” They share a list of many companies to opt-out with if you’re interested.
Social Media Opt-outs
Did you know that your favorite internet and social media companies may offer opt-outs? The choices offered vary by company. One of the best ways to find opt-outs is to carefully read those privacy policies. If you read the Top 10 List from the World Privacy Forum, you’ll find other tips (and links to some popular opt-outs) too.
Online Advertising Opt-outs
Marketers often use your internet browsing patterns to create targeted advertising. These opt-outs are often tied to your internet cookies and must be restored each time you delete them. Get started with your online advertising opt-outs with RapLeaf and Network Advertising Initiative (NAI).
Each of these opt-outs carries various privacy benefits. Learn more about each of your options and choose the opt-outs that will most benefit you.