Tips for Staying Off Data Brokers’ Radar

Data brokerage is one of the main reasons online advertising is so successful today. Customer data is a goldmine, and interested parties can obtain spooky amounts of information about people — where we go, what we do, and the things we like.

An even more shocking fact is that these companies (or data brokers) sell this valuable data to others. Something that started as an innocent way of providing personalized ads to internet users is now a practice that can affect some of the biggest real-life properties, including credit scores and insurance premiums.

Suppose you’re uncomfortable with data brokers collecting as much information about you as possible. In that case, you might be interested in learning about the different techniques of staying out of data brokers’ radar.

Here are the top 6 tips and tricks for keeping your information away from the prying eyes.

1. Use an alias

How often have you seen a brand or a website offering you discounts, coupons, and various freebies if you join their community? Although some companies want to increase their following, others take this opportunity to sell their user databases to data brokers.

There is a way to receive the benefits of joining a brand’s community even if you do not want to compromise your identity. The simplest way to do this is to create an alternative email address or an email alias to cover your tracks. You’ll get access to all the promotions without giving away your real identity. Additionally, if that company shares your email address with its partners, your primary inbox won’t be filled with irritating marketing letters.

2. Use multiple email addresses and phone numbers

Use multiple email addresses

Data brokers use multiple data points to verify someone’s identity, and there’s an easy solution to prevent giving out your identity to unimportant brands and companies.

If you only choose to use a fake name, you won’t get far in hiding your identity as you’ll be forced to enter the same information for the rest of the fields. Instead, create multiple addresses and use several phone numbers.

By keeping your professional, personal, and financial information separate, data brokers won’t have a way of connecting the dots and attributing several online identities to one person.

Burner phone numbers and one-time-use email addresses are also great when you know you won’t access the same source twice.

3. Analyze cookie preferences

All websites use cookies. They’re mainly responsible for tracking the online steps of internet users, even long after they leave a website. The primary goal of cookies is to learn about your unique preferences to bring you targeted and personalized advertisements.

Next time you come across a cookie pop-up, closely analyze what the websites do with their cookies and permanently disable them if you can. Additionally, there are many practices focused on minimizing tracking-based advertising. For one, many browsers block third-party cookies automatically. However, you still might need to block them on other browsers manually.

4. Think about credit and debit card purchases

Credit and debit card purchases

Data brokers also collect information about how and when you use your credit and debit cards to make purchases. Spending only small amounts of money will paint a picture that the card’s user isn’t entirely stable regarding finances.

Thinking twice about credit and debit card use is recommended for people interested in building their credit score. Pay cash for less important purchases and reserve your credit and debit card use for more expensive purchases.

5. Limit the use of smart devices

From fridges and stoves to home-surround systems, people can choose from hundreds of smart devices designed for home use. These tools are increasingly becoming popular.

Although they come with plenty of handy features, making your life slightly easier and more time-efficient, think about whether you genuinely need a smart device.

The growing number of scams drained bank accounts, and home invasions are often linked to the banal use of smart appliances that send valuable information to data brokers.

6. Encrypt traffic and location details

Encrypt traffic and location details

Your internet activity is one of the many resources for data brokers. If you disable cookies and browser fingerprinting, you limit your data share with entities. However, the next step is to encrypt your internet traffic.

A Virtual Private Network does precisely that, and encryption hides your activities from anyone willing to snoop. Once you connect to VPN, it masks IP addresses, which is essential for IP-based tracking. Once you hide it, web entities will no longer learn your real location. Thus, you can limit just what information data brokers get to retrieve about your digital lifestyle.


All in all, data brokers are allowed to do whatever they want with the information they collect because their activities are legal. However, many internet users believe data brokers aren’t using their data only for the purposes they mention to the public, so more and more individuals choose complete online anonymity.

With these six steps, you can also increase your anonymity levels and stay out of data brokers’ radar.

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One Comment

  1. Great tips! Thanks!

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