Thursday, March 10, 2011
On Wednesday I received an e-mail from Amazon.com offering me a discount on a product.
On Monday I had been researching numerous sources for this product for a client. I had not been sourcing this item at Amazon.com. Well. I am not a techie but does this mean the search engines I use collect and disburse data on my searches and then sells that data to others? A few hours later I received an e-mail from Overstock.com offering me a discount on the same type of product. Hummmm.
Does that mean if I delete, rather than respond to the Amazon mail they sell the data assuming they will not be losing my business so are selling "old" or "dated" or lesser probability of a sale data to others?
Before the day was over I had 6 e-mail offers for products I had researched on Monday.
It made me extremely glad I have declined all online banking offers.
I think this is false security.
I went to a grocery store on Monday in another city.
I went to that particular store because I had done an online search for a " local source" which inventories salt free baking powder. Something which cannot be bought within 35 miles of the Pond. It is the only item I purchased. I paid by debit card. I received a receipt for the purchase and then I was handed several coupons for other food items I buy regularly at my local grocers. They are not necessarily salt-free or special dietary foods and they were not coupons for items I had researched online. They were coupons for things I had bought at my local grocers, using that same debitcard, on Sunday. The realization made the Twilight Zone theme song play in my head. And it made me queasy.
But it got worse.
Wednesday afternoon I received snail mail addressed to me. Sort of.
It was addressed to my christian first name and my "Fishy" surname.
The mail was a promotion for a business selling products relative to an
online tutorial I had watched about a particular painting technique.
The Twilight Zone music played a lot louder. It's not my favorite tune.
Did I forfeit all privacy by having Google mail boxes and Google blogspots or a Google business listing for FishyDesigns? By using Google's search engine? I have avoided the social networks. No facebooking for self or business, no twitter, no active LinkedIn. I , like every other businessperson, need to have an internet presence for my business. But how do I do this without inviting serious risks to privacy?
I do have a PayPal account and have bought online with a credit card.
But. I have a single, ceilinged card I use for these purposes. I set this up to limit risks.
Or so I thought. Actually, I think all money transactions have been safe. Data is different.
Data has been collected, categorized, disbursed.
My banking friends tell me it is riskier to write checks because once a check is in hand the
bank routing codes and all other data are right there. A computer they say, will not use data for gain while an immoral human will.
So how do I secure my data?
Is it possible?
I am not a techie .
If I am doing something stupid, please, please tell me and help me!
Is there is a way to prevent Google from selling data about me if I use Google?
How exactly can I do anything about data collected from where I use my debit card?
I doubt I can impact the integrity of employees of firms who receive checks from me.
This is not Lucy and Ethel listening in on Ricky's calls and, it isn't funny.
If I were a billionaire, looking for a secure investment for my lucre, I would launch an internet empire with untraceable searching, debit or credit purchasing and cloud data storage capabilities for one flat rate per year. It probably already exists. Of course there are also sights which offer you the tools to "spy" or "track" those who believe they are searching invisibly. Can you hear the music too?
But wait ! There is more! Did you know you can now sign up to have your house wired for Google ?
What they call " Smart TV" where you can search the net from your TV? Want to know how?
Just download the Mobile Code reader by texting APP to 332211.