Four Ways To Take Back Your Privacy - PC World Magazine, June 2006, Pg. 22

RESTORE YOUR PRIVACY by taking control of the information that businesses and other parties can access about you.

OPT OUT: Companies can share a lot of your data - unless you tell them to stop. The Center for Democracy and Technology offers an excellent free service at that links to online opt-out forms for numerous businesses, and that can generate opt-out letters for you to mail to firms that lack online options. Also, when signing up for any new service, look for the check box that refers to sending you special offers and be sure you're not automatically signed up.

PROTECT YOUR CALL RECORDS: Contact your cell provider and set up a password on your account. You can also ask the provider to remove call details from your bill to keep others from seeing them (though you'll lose them, too). To check if you've been compromised, ask if the firm has released your records or if anyone has activated an online account in your name.

READ THE POLICY: Reading privacy policies or End-User License Agreements (EULAs) is like flossing - we know we should, but we usually don't bother. the free EULAlyzer from Javacool Software makes the task much easier by examining the policy or EULA for you and searching for keywords, such as "Third Party." The software then rates what it finds to let you know which ones to beware of.

SURF AND SEARCH ANONYMOUSLY:  One quick-and-dirty Google cookie anonymizer at removes your unique identifier from the Google cookie. Know that using it will clear any Google preferences you've set, like how many search results display per page. Also, you'll find a guide to many resources for anonymously surfing the internet at
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