Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 03/19/2018 - Wise Words for the "Money Honey"

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“If you are saving, you’re succeeding.” – Steve Burkholder

Last Friday we released Wine and Dime Episode 13 – The Six Letter “B” Word with the “Money Honey.” Nancy and I have worked together on projects for Cornell Cooperative Extension Steuben County for many years, and her commitment to educating the community is extraordinary.

In addition to the podcast, we hope you enjoy the following guest blog from Nancy on “Who’s Watching?”  For more information about the amazing programs being offered through Cornell Cooperative Extension Steuben County, and to help them celebrate their 100th anniversary, go to their website: www.putknowledgetowork.org


Who’s Watching?

Nancy Reigelsperger

Have you ever been surprised to see that something you recently purchased or where you have shopped has been popping up on your internet communications?  Many online companies collect user’s personal information.  Some companies use the data to customize and enhance user experience-such as suggesting books or movies you’d like, while others use it to tailor their marketing messages to appeal to people of similar interests.    Data brokers collect data about consumers to sell to third-party marketing firms and other companies that use it to target ads and offers. 

It is important that you learn how your information will be used and that you have control over your personal data.  When dealing with a company, read their “Privacy Policy” or “Data Use Policy” and see how and when they collect, use or share your personal information.  When appropriate, activate the “private browsing’ function in your web browser, which allows you to surf the Web without the browser saving information about which sites and places you have visited. Use pop-up blockers to avoid the opening of unwelcome advertising windows.

When you are involved in technology online, it is important to keep your sensitive personal data safe from prying eyes.  Password should be strong, with at least eight characters and mix of letters, numbers and symbols.  Keep passwords secret.  Learn about password managers which are a tool that stores all your passwords and requires you to remember only one. Don’t save login information to your computer when asked.  Choose security questions that nobody else is likely to know the answers to.  Two-factor authentication requires two pieces of information to access the account and is a much stronger protection.

Encryption is a technology that scrambles the electronic information being sent through cyberspace, so it is much more difficult for hackers to track your activities and steal your data.  To see if a website you are using is encrypted, look for the “s” which stands for “secure” in the URL (https:// rather than just http://).

Apps are software applications used for mobile devises such as a smartphone or tablet.  Many apps depend on the ability to retrieve and share your personal information, such as contacts, location or calendars.  Check the settings in the app itself and if it wants to collect more personal data than you are comfortable with, don’t download it.  Review the app’s privacy policy to see if it has one, and if not, choose a different app.

The World Privacy forum has a listing of the top ten “opt outs” consumers should consider doing:

1. National Do Not Call Registry

2. Prescreened offers of credit and insurance

3. DMA opt outs

4. Financial institution opt outs

5. CAN SPAM

6. Credit freeze

7. FERPA (education opt out)

8. Data broker opt outs

9. Internet portal opt outs

10. Advertising opt outs

To see what each of these are and what is involved go to their website www.worldprivacyforum.org.

Playing an active role in your privacy helps ensure that you enjoy a safe and sound digital life.