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Consumer Tips

Be Safe Online

HONESTe Online Consumer
Privacy Tips

Here is our list of things you can do to protect your privacy on the Internet, and beyond.

Remove yourself from marketing lists

You can get your name removed from marketing lists by contacting the Direct Marketing Association (www.thedma.org). This is discussed in more detail in the section about opting-out of direct marketing.

To eliminate telephone solicitation, have your name added to the federal Do Not Call Registry. You can contact them at 1-888-382-1222 or through their web site at www.ftc.gov/donotcall/. You will need to re-register every five years.

Limit the transfer and sale of your information by opting out (1-888-5-opt-out) and not giving financial institutions permission to share your data with their partners. You can also register at www.optoutprescreen.com.

Limit information on your cell phone

Don't provide any personal information on your cell phone. It isn't secure. A hacker may also gain access to names and phone numbers, calendar appointments, notes and other data you store using the phone's PDA functions, listen in on conversations, or make long distance calls using your number.

This is done by intercepting signals that transmit the phone's ID numbers and then "cloning" the phone. Also be aware on land and wireless phone calls what information is being provided and accessible.

Destroy unsolicited offers

Tear up or shred those "pre-approved" offers that arrive unsolicited through the mail, unless you really want the credit card. Thieves love these because they have so much useful information for them.

Opt-out of information sharing

When you receive privacy information from your bank or credit card company, it's important that you "opt-out"’. Otherwise, your information can be distributed to other partners of these financial institutions.

Keep sensitive information off checks

Don't write your credit card number or social security number on your checks. They may be handled by dozens of people from numerous financial institutions, any one of whom can copy from your checks.

Opt-out options

Although most businesses handle your personal information in a responsible way, you have the option to "opt-out" of having your information shared or passed along to others for promotions. This will decrease the amount of spam and related junk mail. You can opt out of information sharing by your telephone company, utility company, and most of the businesses you deal with.

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