Staying Safe in a Customized but Frightening Marketing World

Customers enjoy customization in communication; however, there is a thin line between appearing personalized vs. frightening to the customer. Uber has appeared in the news for matters dealing with privacy. Uber customers, past and present, have been openly disturbed since discovering that the app still tracks the user even when the app is closed or deleted. Customers have the same concerns with iPhone IOS updates and apps that are not only smarter but can predict the users’ movements. So how can consumers keep their privacy and feel safer? Here are a few simple things that can be done:

Control App Access

By disabling the location tracking function in the smartphone’s or apps’ settings and, you block the ability for your phone to track you. This can be easily reversed should you need your phone to recognize your location for use of your GPS or a ride sharing app. Similarly, you can disable an app from accessing your photos, contacts, and other personal areas of your phone.

Understand the Customer Agreement

From downloading an app to getting emails for coupons, make sure you fully understand the information to which you are agreeing can be used. It is impossible to read the lengthy terms and conditions agreement, so do your research for items that require very sensitive and personal data.

Look for Verification

Confirm that the app/site/company to which you are giving your information is the verified version. Personally Identifiable Information such as a credit card number, full address or social security number is harmful in the wrong hands. The status of “verified” guarantees authenticity and security measures in place. A fraudulent or copycat site can do anything from drowning you in unwanted and unsolicited spam to making you the victim of hacking.

Speak Up

Request that the use of your information is limited or that your email get taken off a mailing list. While shopping or registering for sites online, look out for the preselected option that says, “yes, I want to receive…”  Deselecting the option will protect your email or phone number from receiving unwanted communication.

Update and Clean Up

Update your computer, IOS/android systems, and email. Newer versions of applications and updates are made to fix bugs in the current version that often offer stronger security measures. In addition, keep yourself updated on current scams/spams/hacks alerts. Whether you watch or read the news or check your email online, IT health and safety topics are everywhere. Take the time to educate yourself on how to keep a tight seal on your privacy.

Almost everyone has searched for an item in a browser before signing into Facebook–and once on Facebook, see the same ad show up. You are not alone in thinking that those “coincidences” borders on being frightening. It also begs the question “if the simple Google search for shoes can be tracked, what else is being tracked that goes unseen?” You have every right to ensure that you and your online presence are protected and secure. By starting with these tips, you are taking a proactive approach. Being proactive is better than being reactive. So get a good head start here!

Ashley Morales is a Marketing Intern at C2G Partners.