protect your family from junk mail, behavioral tracking + targeted ads
I hate physical and digital junkmail, and online behavioral advertising. Knowing that trees are cut down for the paper that I throw in the recycling makes me especially furious. But digital advertising, junk mail, and tracking is even more pervasive. As soon as I got engaged, it was botox and shedding for the wedding ads everywhere… offensive much?
If your name or address are on marketing databases, and I can pretty much guarantee you that they are, it’s like a never-ending cycle. You unsubscribe from one brand, and next week some new catalog or flier is in the mail. And in your inbox, no matter how often you hit that unsubscribe button! It might be your name, or a previous tenant or owner at your address.
Besides the environmental impact, it’s upsetting to me that some marketing companies are making lots of money selling MY ‘private’ data, ie. my address, IP address, and email address. So i decided to try to get to the root of the problem.
I always ask where a catalog got my address or name from, but usually the customer service people don’t know, or don’t tell you. A couple times however, I was persuasive enough that they revealed which database they BOUGHT my personal info from.
I was astounded by the number of data mining companies that are tracking my online behavior and selling my data, IP address, email address, and mailing address. It was hundreds of companies. yup, and thats despite me being tech-savvy. I had no idea how bad it was.
I have no illusions about digital privacy, but it feels so invasive and creepy, and unfair that others are profiting. I mean at least we should have the option of being paid for our data.
So here’s what you need to do to unsubscribe from paper and digital junk mail, and opt out of online ad and behavior tracking (that you don’t even know is happening). I’m no expert on this, and if you work for one of these companies, do something for your karma and conscience, comment, and let us know what else we need to do.
btw, i would NEVER sell LivLuna Mail subscribers’ data. EVER. so once you clean out your inbox, subscribe to my bimonthly emails 🙂
And I don’t use GoogleAds on LivLuna. I select all advertisers personally, and their based on my interests, not on your online behavior tracking like Google Ads is.
1. to see how many companies are tracking you online, go to aboutads.info
make sure your browser cookies are enabled. reload the page. see how many companies are customizing ads for your browser. I had a list of 76 companies.
are you creeped out yet? scroll down, and click ‘Choose All Companies’ to opt out in one click. so satisfying. but every time you delete cookies, it deletes your opt-outs, so for each browser you use you need to do this, and periodically re-opt out, if you’ve deleted your cookies.
2. opt out of offers at DMAChoice.org
Register, and choose what you want to opt out of -catalog offers, credit card offers, magazine offers, direct mail offers etc. Every 5 years you’ll get an email asking you to log in, and your preferences are updated for another 5 years.
3. opt out of cookie-based online digital and behavioral advertising and direct mail at Datalogix
Go to the paragraph titled ‘Choice’. Read it. You have 3 places to click to unsubscribe from different ads, and behavior tracking, and direct mail. And every time you delete cookies, install a new browser, or get a new computer, you have to opt out all over again!
4. click unsubscribe on junk emails, call catalogs and fliers to unsubscribe.
Isn’t this annoying? But at least you have protected yourself and your privacy as much as you can. Though I have a nagging feeling i’m missing something, so please comment and let me know, if you know. I’m just a mom trying to protect my family, use the internet on my own terms, and save some trees.
Ugggg. I spend so much time getting off of these lists. Not only do I hate junk mail but I can’t stand physical mail of any business or solicitation sort. There’s just no need to communicate in this way. (Don’t get me wrong, I love sending and receiving mail with friends, grandparents, nieces and nephews of course, more of that please.) Thanks for the tips on extra places to check my name and get off of the behavioral tracking sites too.
i hear you. it’s like what-a-mole. grrr.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I HATE receiving unsolicited mail. I have a stock email drafted which I rattle off, without fail, to all companies who pester me with catalogues. We’ve moved homes a few times so I try to keep on top of it, otherwise it just follows me around. Some companies (e.g. Bloomingdales) just will not take the hint.
yes, Bloomie’s IS AWFUL! It took me several phone calls to get them to stop.
anything that comes in the mail that has a prepaid return envelope should be sent back with the piece you’re meant to order or sign up with – only write ‘remove from all mailing lists’ next to your name rather than filling in any of the information or placing an order.
good idea britt! though i haven’t seen these in the catalogs i get so far, or maybe i haven’t looked carefully enough…