Who is Tracking You?

iPhone Privacy

To increase privacy and reduce advertising based on your location, make these changes in your iPhone.

Go into Settings, General, About, Advertising.

Turn Limit Ad Tracking to the "On" position.


Go into Settings, Privacy, Location Services,  System Settings (at bottom of screen).

Switch "Location-Based iAds" to the "Off" position.


Go into Settings, Safari.

Switch Private Browsing to "On".

Set Accept Cookies to From Visited or Never.


Open Safari on your iPhone and visit

To opt out of Interest Based iAds. Flip the switch to "Off,"

Phone companies can sell your Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)

Your CPNI is a list of all the numbers you have called, when you called and what services you used.

The FCC explains how this works.

Restricting our use of your CPNI
If you wish to restrict our use of your CPNI for marketing purposes, you may contact a customer service representative at the customer service phone number located on your AT&T telephone bill or one of the following numbers:
Wireless - 1-800-331-0500
Business - 1-888-944-0447
Residential - 1-800-288-2020
Spanish Language - 1-800-870-5855
For assistance in other languages, please visit [ ]
Legacy AT&T Consumer - 1-800-222-0300
Restricting our use of your CPNI for marketing purposes will not affect the provision of any AT&T products or services to which you subscribe, nor will it eliminate all types of AT&T marketing contacts.



You have to call T-Mobile to opt out of marketing.

There doesn't seem to be any way to restrict CPNI without calling them.

Google Google Takeout allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.

You can also remove most of what Google knows about you. Visit the Data Liberation Front (a part of Google) to learn more.

Google Maps

Open the Google Maps app and tap on the little "My Profile" icon, which looks like a little person. 

From there you'll tap on a gear icon and then select "About, Terms & Privacy." 

Tap on the "Terms & Privacy" button and then select "Location Data Collection" so that you're presented with the option to toggle the process off. 

Other companies tracking you on your phone, on your computer or by your email address


These people track you and your surfing habits through your device. Here is what they say about themselves.

"We operate at the device level, adding behavioral, demographic, and association data layer by layer. The result? The most complete, detailed profiles of devices, tailored to your specifications and targeting goals.

Using BlueCava’s device identification, multiple devices can be associated to a user or household, or even a business. On a micro level, a user’s behavior on one device can be appended to the other devices they use on a regular basis.

Once a device is identified, its associated to a consumer and household, and to other devices it shares characteristics with. Mix in detailed demographic and behavioral information, such as purchase history and intent, in addition to 1st party data. Top it off by including marketing segments from all your favorite consumer insight companies. Market on."

Buried deep in the web site is an option to opt out of their insidious tracking.
Since they track you by device, you must choose this option on every device you use.


Rapleaf gathers information about you tied to your email address and then sells it to marketers. They claim to have at least one data point tied to over 80% of all U.S. consumer email addresses. Businesses supply a list of email address and pick what kind of information is associated with that address. The company links users' names and e-mail addresses to many social networking profiles; Flickr, Friendster, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pandora, Wordpress, MySpace, Bebo, Tribe, Livejournal, Yelp and Amazon -- and sells that information to third-parties. It can also include Facebook IDs as a data point.

You can Opt out by clicking here.

Other companies that collect data on you

Acxiom to Opt Out

Quantcast to Opt Out

BluKai to Opt Out

Monetate does not seem to have an Opt Out option. The closest I could find was unsubscribe.

Network Advertising Initiative to Opt Out

More Opt Out

Both of these very similar sites say "Using the tools on this page, you can opt out from receiving interest-based advertising from some or all of our participating companies."


Network Advertising Initiative

More Stuff

Browser help to reduce tracking

- Ghostery

- Adblock Plus

- TrackerBlock


In Massachusetts (and since September 2005, the whole U.S.) you are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. You can also get one if you think you've been denied a job or a loan because of a credit report. If there is any erroneous information on there it's probably not in your favor. If you don't correct it, nobody else will. It takes less than five minutes per call to order your report. There is a national web site run by the three companies at or you can call the national number 1 877 322-8228 (this is the easiest method) or their individual 800 numbers. Order a report from a different reporting company every four months. Or just do all three once a year.


PwnedList is "Designed for consumers to check if their email address has been found on commonly circulating lists of stolen accounts and passwords." Enter your email address or user name to see if has shown up on any list of compromised accounts. Free for individuals

If you are a Comcast internet subscriber you can get the Norton Security Suite for free (well, included in your subscription). This is a very good deal you should take advantage of.

10minutemail will give you a throwaway email address that is good for 10 or 20 minutes, enough time to register for an account somewhere and receive the authentication code.

The Gibson Research (GRC) Haystack site will show you how long it could take a hacker to crack your password. Here he demonstrates that length is the most important criteria for a strong password. He then offers a way for long, hard passwords to be easily remembered. Lots of other good information here.

A password manager such as Lastpass (highly recommended) makes it easy to have long, hard-to-crack passwords for all your accounts. You can use their website or, more easily, install a small plug-in in your browser. Then any time you need to use a password, you log in to your Lastpass account and have Lastpass fill in your user name and password for any of the sites you have saved. It also has a "Fill Form" feature that will fill in your name, address and optionally your credit card number into a web site's form. This can save you a lot of typing if you shop at different stores. GRC offers a text and an audio discussion of why Lastpass is secure.

Do you think your credit card number might have been stolen? Visit Is my credit card stolen? to learn more.

VigdeoJug tutorial on Identity Theft