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Learn About Data Brokers - Knowledgebase / Security / General Security - OIT Service Center

Learn About Data Brokers

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Data brokers are companies that collect, analyze, and sell large volumes of consumer information, often without direct consent, to third parties for various purposes, such as targeted advertising and risk assessment. Some of the leading data brokerage companies are Epsilon, Acxiom, Intellius, and Experian.

How Data Brokers Gather Your Information

Data brokers may use: 

  • Your purchase history (types of products, method of payment, time of purchases, etc.,)

  • Online agreements signed by you (e.g., when signing up for a service online)

  • Public records (birth certificates, voter, criminal and bankruptcy)

  • Your search history data (your google searches, social media use, website visits, etc.,)

How to Protect Your Information from Data Brokers

Data brokers use a variety of sources and public records to gather personal information, but there are some steps you can take to reduce the amount of data they can access online. 

  • Be selective about the information you share online. 

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when possible

  • Check the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse for a list of brokers and guidance on how to opt out of them. 

  • Consider using DeleteMe to do some of the opting out work for you.

  • Consider using Tall Poppy to help you de-escalate online harassment and reduce the risks that come with exposed data. 

  • Opt out of prescreened credit card and insurance offers. 

  • Join the National Do Not Call registry. 

  • Use search engines that do not track you. 

  • Delete cookies and browsing history. 

  • Browse the internet in “incognito” or “private” mode.

  • Install software updates to ensure your device is as up-to-date as possible.

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