My Results: Anonymity & Tracking

Manage Your Profiles

If an app or site asks for your personal information, weigh the benefits before giving it.

  1. Ask yourself: Do they really need this information to provide the service? What permissions are they asking for and do they really need access to that information?
  2. If you don't know how an organization or service will use your information—either because they don't say or because their privacy policy is too unclear for you to read—consider not giving it to them, or at least limiting what information you give them.
    1. Don't fill in non-required fields.
    2. You may be able to give false information in the required fields if it's not necessary to the service you're getting. However, you should check the provider's terms of service first to make sure they do not require that your personal information be correct. Don't give false information to banks, government agencies, and other highly regulated services, as it may be illegal.
  3. Watch these short videos to see how much information we give away without thinking.
    1. If your shop assistant was an app
    2. #PrivacyProject

Limit Data Collection and Tracking

Limit tracking by reviewing your web browser's or your phone's privacy settings for how long it saves cookies from the sites you visit. In browsers, privacy settings can generally be accessed via the "Preferences" or "Options" menus. (Note that these settings change back to the default when you install an update to the browser.

  1. To reduce the chances you can be tracked from session to session, set your web browsers on all your devices to clear any cookies when you close the browser.
    • Guide for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera: How to Clear Your Cache on Any Browser
    • To find instructions for other browsers/devices (or newer versions), do a search on 'automatically clear cookies' and the name of the browser or device.

For frequent online tasks, there are some sites and services that specifically don't track your activities.

  • A Search Engine That Doesn't Store Your Search History or Identifying Information: DuckDuckGo
  • A search engine that uses content search assistance from major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo but never tracks your online searches or activities or IP address: Disconnect Search

Secure Your Communication Channels

Cell phones, computers, and other devices are important to our lives, but they can also be used by others to track where we are. If you believe someone is harassing, stalking, or abusing you, it's important to make sure you take the steps needed to ensure your devices are not being monitored.

  1. Spyware can make it easy for perpetrators to stalk, track, monitor, and/or harass victims. Learn how to protect yourself from spyware:
  2. Develop your cell phone safety plan to protect against tracking:

Privacy Tips for Businesses

If customers, clients, or donors contact you, don't pass the communication along or post it publicly without asking them. This applies to both positive and negative feedback, as well as other types of information.

  1. If someone gives you a great review, ask them before you post their name or photo or anything else identifiable about them.
  2. If you're quoting something someone posted on a public site, or you're responding to a review, don't add other information you know about the individual without asking them.

Be aware that when you buy online ads to drive traffic to your site, or when you sell ad space on your website for other companies' products, you are adding to the advertising company's profile of your customers or members. If your business or organization is of a sensitive nature, you might consider using an advertising service that does not track the behavior of individual users.

Be selective about the software and communication platforms you use in your business or organization. If it doesn't state clearly in the terms of service or user agreement that they will not share your data or your customers' or donors' data with any other entities, contact the company and ask. If you can't get a straight answer, choose a different platform.

Resources to Learn More About the Topic

Back to Top