Millions of people may be giving away their privacy through ancestry tests

Consumer Reports

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Image: Gary Waters/ getty

Google yourself. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Include some easily discoverable details: the city where you live, the call of your employer, and maybe your centre call.

If you’re like most people, the results page will be full of data dealers offering anyone doing a cursory online hunting a legion of information including your address, your phone number, your email, their lists of your relatives and their address, and so much more. In a world rife with random doxxings, swattings, and defrauds, “its a problem”.

Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it.

While removing all personally identifiable information from the internet is extremely difficult, there are a few simple steps you can take in your spare time to snip the low-hanging fruit. To is clearly, if you have a specific reason to be concerned about a stalker or threats to your safety, then you’ll want to take steps above and beyond what’s laid out here. However, if you’re simply expresses concern about your privacy in general and want to clean up your online footprint, then the official languages act of privacy hygiene can go a long way.

A good first stop is the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit “dedicated to reimagining privacy in a digital era.” The organisation has an extremely detailed opt-out list for data brokers, with the respective relations and steps needed to remove your info from the companies’ clutches. More broadly, the WPF put together what it calls the top 10 opt-outs — a detailed step-by-step guide to plucking your information from the data dealers of the world.

Want the schools you’ve attended to stop releasing your dwelling address and phone number? Check the FERPA opt out information. How about an easy and direct way to get on the National Do Not Call Registry? WPF has you extended, very.

But why stop moving? Stop Data Mining Me, an internet site that legislations itself as the “Do Not Call” list for data brokers, has its own opt-out list. Consumer Reports also has a helpful index of its six recommended opt-outs.

Importantly, the above is by no means an exhaustive index, and should not be considered as such. However, if you have an afternoon to spare and want to better protect your privacy in this mixed up and crazy world, it’s a great place to start.

So go ahead and get clicking now. Your newfound privacy will thank you later.

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