How to Cover Your Shopping Footprints
Shopping on the Internet is like signing up for a supermarket saver card or getting that extra 10 percent discount when you sign up for a retail store's credit card.Shopping on the Internet is like signing up for a supermarket saver card or getting that extra 10 percent discount when you sign up for a retail stores credit card. You get some immediate savings, but you are also involuntarily subscribing to junk mail. To this day, I still receive junk mail from the company that tempted me back in college with its so-called 1-cent CD mail-order club. Its a fact of life, whether we shop online or in stores, that merchants will use customer information to the fullest extent. But instead of complaining about how our privacy is violated by e-tailers, lets do something to minimize the personal footprints we leave behind on the Web.
Those of us concerned about privacy on the Internet should scrutinize the privacy policies of the sites we visit. One thing to check for is whether a site has policy certification validating its claim that it will not sell or use personal information without permission. 800.com, for example, is certified by Truste, a nonprofit organization that recognizes sites protecting user information.