Brought to you by Frontera Bar & Grill
Monday, April 23, 2012
In the age of oversharing, what don't companies know? Google reads your emails, Facebook promotes ads based on your interests, Amazon predicts what you'll buy, and even newcomer Pinterest knows what you want for your wedding.
It's estimated that American consumers spend 35.3 hours per month online, with one out of every five minutes spent on social networking sites. The rest of that time is presumably split between shopping, researching, reading, watching videos, gaming and more.
Each of these online activities is an opportunity for companies to mine data about you.
For example, after reading this, you may decide to share this article on Facebook and Twitter and search Amazon for books on online privacy. Tomorrow, your Gmail account and Facebook may show ads for online security software, you may receive a paid tweet for anti-spyware services, and Amazon could email recommendations on popular books about the Internet and privacy. It's a general example, but it clues you in on how your actions can ripple out to your entire online experience.
With much of our personal information willingly and publicly shared, companies use this data to give us what they think we want and need. I'm a firm believer in the safety and privacy of your online information, and wanted to share with you what I've learned that you should know about online companies while cruising the Internet this very moment.
1) "They know what you're going to buy before you do." Target recently came under fire for exposing a young girl's pregnancy to her father when the retailer predicted her pregnancy based on her recent purchases, and mailed her a catalog for expectant mothers. Target's so-called "pregnancy prediction" score sounds unsavory, but it's not uncommon. Many retailers use complex algorithms to identify shopping patterns and categorize people into certain customer profiles based on purchases, and use that to push more relevant ads to you.
While retailers have always kept records on customer shopping habits, two factors have changed the game: The technology to analyze patterns and predict behavior, and the traceability of online shopping. Sites have tools that give insights into trends and preferences about you as part of a larger consumer demographic. For example, if you're buying cocoa butter lotion and prenatal supplements, retailers like Target may soon send you ads for strollers and cribs.
Online retailers can also drop browser cookies -- markers that identify specific users and track browsing activities -- as consumers shop online. Based on that data, a site can show you ads it predicts will appeal to you even as you're browsing other sites. As you're reading news on Yahoo!, you could see sales from luxury goods website Gilt on the sidebar, as prompted by your splurges there last week.
2) "They know about your financial troubles." Banks and lenders can data-mine social media networks for financial information on consumers, from your financial woes to your recent pay raise. How? Well, you just tweeted about it.
Your public tweets, Facebook statuses and Tumblr posts are fodder for banks, lenders and anyone looking for telltale financial indications about you. Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com, wrote a Mashable article explaining that banks and lenders could be looking for changes in your financial circumstances, what your friends' financial standing is, and upcoming life changes like a marriage or divorce. It's a prime opportunity to learn about your finances and tailor marketing efforts toward you. For example, tweeting about your latest bankruptcy could trigger an issuer to show advertisements for a secured card; on the other hand, tweeting about your 720 credit score could trigger ads for rewards and travel credit cards.
Not surprisingly though, social media hasn't affected the underwriting process; banks and lenders won't deny you a mortgage if you tweet about your poor credit score. However, it could affect opportunities with future employers, as evident in recently exposed hiring practices in which employers demanded Facebook passwords from their employees.
3) "They'll change the whole website according to you." One of the more beneficial perks of the Internet is the high degree of personalization it yields. Knowing your preferences and habits means sites can also tailor your user experience to your liking. For example, flash deal and deep discount sites like Gilt and Groupon have dozens of variations of their daily email tailored to different profiles of customers.
The more you shop at online retailers or use websites, the more they "learn" your interests to cater specific deals and coupons you're most likely to be interested in. Even Facebook's privacy settings, as hotly contested as they've been, passively saves your preferred settings as you interact with the site to make it as convenient as possible for you the next time you visit.
In the end, consumers should be aware that any public information is fair game to anyone.
As our online activity inhabits a gray area where public intersects with private, the onus is ours to protect ourselves.
Remember that all the information we share, no matter how innocuous, can be a marker of your financial, demographic or consumer profile. It shapes your online experiences from what advertisements you'll see, to how a website will be presented to you and, of course, to what your professional and personal peers think of you.
In short, follow an altered version of your mother's advice: If you can't tweet anything nice, don't tweet anything at all.
Have a Blessed Day!
Host of Pamela's Place,
The Totally Pamper Me Show,
WDNG Radio Inc.
Keywords: Internet, online shopping,companies, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter,
Visit Pamela's Place
There currently are no approved comments for this blog article. To join the discussion click here.
Sunday, May 11, 2014 - Making a good first impression in a job interview is crucial
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - What Human Right Destroys So Many Children
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - A True Story of Perseverance and Hope
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - Investigation into school prayer.
Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 5-year-old told she can't pray as she bows her head to say Grace at school before she eats
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Hour Two Pamela's Place guest for Friday 4/4/14 1:00 - 2:00 CST
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Hour One Pamela's Place Guest Friday 4/4/14, 12:00 - 1:00 CST
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Pamela's Place guest for hour one Friday 3/28/14 12:00- 1:00 CST
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - Pamela's Place Guest for Hour One Friday 3/21/14
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - Pamela's Place Guest for Hour one Friday 3/14/14
Sunday, March 9, 2014 - Scam artists posing as IRS employees targeting and calling tax payers at home
Sunday, March 9, 2014 - Important information concerning Common Core in Alabama! Legislators need to hear from you!
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Pamela's Place topic and guest for hour two Friday 3/7/14
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Pamela's Place guest and topic for hour one Friday 3/7/14
Friday, February 28, 2014 - Guest for hour two of Pamela's PLace Friday 2/28/14
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - Pamela's Place guest for first hour Friday 2/28/14
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 2nd hour guest and topic for Pamela's Place today
Friday, February 21, 2014 - First hour Pamela's Place guest and topic for today
Sunday, February 9, 2014 - Listen to WDNG for your chance to win great prizes during Valentine Week contests!
Friday, February 7, 2014 - Jan Withers and Frank Harris on hour two of Pamela's Place Friday
Thursday, February 6, 2014 - Out of body experience after tragic accident
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - Pamela's Place guests and topics for Friday 1/31/14
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - The amazing true story of Perto Herrera on first hour of Pamela's Place Friday 1/24/14
Friday, January 17, 2014 - Hour 2 Guest on Pamela's Place 1/17/14
Friday, January 17, 2014 - Guest for First hour of Pamela's Place 1/17/14
Sunday, December 29, 2013 - What would it look like for you to take an honest inventory of your life in 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest for Friday 12/20/13 is Wreaths Across America.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 - This Weeks Community Talk Programming
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - Thanksgiving Week Programming
Friday, November 22, 2013 - Guest for Pamela's Place Friday Nov. 22nd.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - Special Veterans Day edition of Pamela's Place Friday 11/8/13 12:00 p.m. CST
Saturday, November 2, 2013 - Capturing the Essence of this Present Season
Thursday, October 31, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday 11/1/13 12:00 p.m. CST
Thursday, October 17, 2013 - Guest for Pamela's Place Friday 10/18/13 @ 12:00 p.m. CST
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest for Thursday 10/03/13
Monday, September 30, 2013 - Program changes beginning this week!
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday 9/20/13 is cancer survivor B. Davis Campbell
Thursday, September 5, 2013 - Pamela's Place guests for Friday 9/6/13
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - Pamela's Place guests for Friday 8/30/13
Thursday, August 22, 2013 - Guest for Pamela's Place Friday 8/23/13
Thursday, August 8, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest Friday 8/9/13, Witnessing a Miracle
Thursday, August 1, 2013 - Get Inspired, Catch this Vision, Get Informed & Let's Get Going!!!
Sunday, July 28, 2013 - Volunteering has healthy side-effects!
Thursday, July 25, 2013 - Rita Flegel, Pamela's Place guest for Friday 7/26/13
Thursday, July 18, 2013 - Pamela's Place topic and guest for Friday 7/19/13 Can a Vitamin Deficiency Cause Autism?
Thursday, July 11, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday, 7/12/13
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - Sex Trafficking and Our National Humiliation
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - Ahhh, The 4th of July!
Saturday, June 22, 2013 - Bullying linked to suicide factors
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - Teen takes bullet to save three year old
Saturday, June 1, 2013 - Teen mother saved from a coerced abortion
Saturday, June 1, 2013 - Congratulations to our Birthday/Anniversary Club winner for 5/31/13
Friday, May 24, 2013 - Secrets to summer grilling
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest and Topic for 5/24/13
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - Dog Buried in Tornado Rubble for 2 Days is Found Alive!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - CDC Study Finds 58% Of Public Pools Tested Positive For E.Coli
Monday, May 20, 2013 - Birthday Club Winner for 5/17/13
Monday, May 20, 2013 - WDNG BIrthday Club WInner for 5/10/13
Thursday, May 9, 2013 - AP Journalist for Jodi Arias trial on Pamela's Place Friday 5/10/13
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - Tips for Avoiding Contractor Fraud
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Relay For Life and Team Cindy Lou present Tails and Tiaras Pet Beauty Contest!
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Congratulations to our WDNG Birthday Club Winner for 4/19/13!
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest for Friday 4/19/13
Thursday, April 11, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday 04/12/13
Sunday, April 7, 2013 - Tragedy hits family of Rick and Kay Warren
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - New local show, Community Talk with Eddy Reese, Charlene Fuller Gossett and Pamela Bates.
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - Make this Easter a safe, relaxing day for everybody.
Friday, March 29, 2013 - Congratulations to our Birthday/Anniversary Club Winner!
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - Guest on Pamela's Place Friday March 29th is Linda Wagner, Obesity Survivor.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - Cleaning for a Reason, Making a difference
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - Programming Update for Friday March 22nd
Saturday, March 16, 2013 - Congratulations to our Birthday Club Winner for 3/15/13!
Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Follow WDNG on Twitter!
Friday, March 8, 2013 - Cute, but inappropriate — Chicks and bunnies don't make good Easter pets
Friday, February 22, 2013 - Another child faced with bullying. Please help me in raising awareness
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - My husband one of first on scene of horriific Talladega accident involving Anniston woman
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - Programs will air at regular scheduled days and times again next week.
Monday, February 4, 2013 - Spike in gasoline prices might be just the beginning
Friday, February 1, 2013 - Birthday Club Winner 2/1/13
Thursday, January 31, 2013 - Friday's Pamela's Place Show: Who “owns” the civil rights movement?
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - Armed Robber Flees Home After Women Chant the Name 'Jesus'
Thursday, January 24, 2013 - Webcam hackers can spy on you in secret from your own computer
Monday, January 14, 2013 - Birthday Winner for 1/11/13
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - Study finds food allergies, bullying often linked
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - Mr. Zig Ziglar will be very missed by many people
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - God Bless Each of our Veterans!
Thursday, November 1, 2012 - Blood donations down after storm, Red Cross asking for help
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 1 Person Fatally Shot at Megapastor Creflo Dollar’s World Changers International Church
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - Congratulations Birthday club Winner Draven Thomas!
Sunday, October 14, 2012 - Raising awareness: Amanda Todd, a beautiful life lost much too soon.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - Father killed his five month old baby by raping her
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 8 Drowning Kids Saved by Heroic Strangers
Monday, September 10, 2012 - Your gravestone has an app: Companies sell interactive link for smartphones
Sunday, September 2, 2012 - Well now, isn't this a different side to the story!
Saturday, August 25, 2012 - Behind Empire State shooting: A layoff, a gun, and a targeted ex-boss
Friday, August 24, 2012 - Bible belt nude-fest plans charging forward
Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Beware......Watch out for rising bank fees … again.
Friday, August 3, 2012 - Another retailer gets behind 'gay marriage'
Friday, July 6, 2012 - Man facing jail for hosting home bible study
Monday, July 2, 2012 - Fireworks, dry weather make potentially dangerous combination
Sunday, July 1, 2012 - Can pets take the heat? Tips for keeping your dog or cat cool
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - Rising food prices hard to swallow
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Germiest hot spots in hotels? TV remote and light switch
Monday, June 18, 2012 - School nurse forced a third grader to bathe at school.
Sunday, June 17, 2012 - iWitness app claims to be 'ultimate deterrent to crime'
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - Homeowners warned about storm-chasing scammers
Sunday, June 10, 2012 - School pulls patriotic song at graduation, but Justin Bieber's 'Baby' is OK
Saturday, June 9, 2012 - Looking For Father’s Day Gifts? BBB Tips Can Help You Avoid Shopping Scams
Friday, June 8, 2012 - Congratulations to our WDNG Birthday Club winner, Ann Clark
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - Restaurant restrooms put to the hot water test
Monday, June 4, 2012 - Neal Boortz announces retirement
Monday, April 23, 2012 - Do Online Companies Know You Better Than You Know Yourself?
Saturday, April 14, 2012 - Cancer Survivor Courtney Alvis, a story that must be shared.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 - Is driving becoming "last century"?
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - Another "choking game" fatality. Awareness is crucial!
Monday, April 2, 2012 - Congratulations Jim Robinson
Saturday, March 24, 2012 - What are our school systems coming to? Wake up parents!
Thursday, March 15, 2012 - "The choking game", make yourself and your children aware!
Friday, March 9, 2012 - Congratulations Jace Hardin
Friday, March 2, 2012 - Conratulations to 14 yr. old Alyssa Tims
Friday, February 24, 2012 - Congratulations Austin Pitts
Friday, February 17, 2012 - Congratulations to 10 yr. old Harley Kendall for being our weekly Birthday Club winner for the week of 2/17/12
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - Choices we make today build the foundation of our character tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - Don't be a Stupid Cupid: Scammers love Valentine's Day too
Monday, February 13, 2012 - The family medicine cabinet is increasingly becoming a deadly drug dealer
Sunday, February 12, 2012 - So saddened by the death of Whitney Houston
Friday, February 10, 2012 - Congratulations Teressa Gross,Our weekly Birthday Club winner!
Thursday, February 9, 2012 - We want to hear from you!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Job openings jump to near 3-year high
Monday, February 6, 2012 - Children's of Alabama Donor Drive
Monday, February 6, 2012 - Tracking animal cruelty offenders
Sunday, February 5, 2012 - Alabama spay/neuter to offer discounted spay services through February.
Friday, February 3, 2012 - What is RSV? Become Aware For The Health of your Child!
Thursday, February 2, 2012 - Touching Letter From Former Backup Singer For Brittany Spears
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - Please Help Me Help A Local Rescue Group
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - Exciting Things Ahead for WDNG and Pamela's Place