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Free items via the Internet or Social Media?

You pay with your personal information!
social media

How often do you get a free offer on the internet or through social media channels like Facebook? Do you think these are really for free?
Unfortunately… you pay with your personal information!

On many websites for instance, you need to enter an email address and your name. Or you need to log in with your Facebook account. Or you must allow your location to be retrieved and saved. Especially if you log in via Facebook, not just your information will be retrieved,  but, if you do not pay attention, all of your friends’ information as well! And all of that for free…

The information will subsequently be sold to various commercial parties that are only interested in selling you stuff. Do realise that when you browse Facebook for instance, your mouse movements are followed, which may result in a series of later personalised advertisements?

Have you noticed that you suddenly receive offers on your smartphone while walking through a shopping street, just having passed the store that sends you an offer?

Have you ever searched Google for a microwave maybe? Did you notice that suddenly see microwave ovens adverts appear on your Facebook timeline or on Skype? Or maybe you are cycling or walking somewhere and suddenly you receive a notification on your smart phone informing you of a nice viewpoint closeby.

Here are some tips to make your life more anonymous (but don’t harbour any illusions about being or becoming invisible):

  1. Use a browser such as Google Chrome that has an “incognito” mode.
  2. Be careful with the usage of free WiFi networks. Turn off WiFi when you’re in shopping areas etc.
  3. Only turn on your GPS if you need it. Your whereabouts are literally the source of a lot of interesting marketing information.
  4. Do realise that something posted on Facebook for instance, will never disappear even though you delete it yourself. Do you want to know what Facebook knows about you? Then download your Facebook archive. Log on to Facebook on a desktop. Click the triangle in the toolbar. Choose Settings. Then choose ‘Download a copy’ under your personal settings.