Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Want a Little Privacy?

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Do you find yourself spending too much time answering calls from telemarketers and wading through piles of junk mail? If you would like a little reprieve, World Privacy Forum's Top Ten Opt Outs is worth your time to read. The site gives an explanation on how to handle of the following:
1. National Do Not Call Registry
2. Prescreened offers of credit and insurance
3. DMA opt outs
4. Financial institution opt outs
5. CAN SPAM
6. Credit freeze
7. FERPA
8. Data broker opt outs
9. Internet portal opt outs
10. NAI opt out

The site is pretty thorough in its explanations. Bear in mind that even if you had called the National Do Not Call Registry at one point in time, that opt out is only good for 5 years, so if your suddenly are finding the calls coming in, it's time to opt out again.

I have a personal favorite trick that helps my mood when dealing with junk mail. You know all of those no-postage-needed business reply envelopes that come with the junk mail? I found out some years ago, that when returned, the postage on those is actually a good bit higher than if you simply put a stamp on the envelope. Since so few of the envelopes are ever returned, it's cheaper for the mass mailers to use them.

I will open the junk mail from a couple of mass mailing institutions, tear off anything that personally identifies me, and then stuff each reply envelope with all of the junk that came from the other company. (My wife really hates it when I do that, so please don't tell her I passed along this trick to you.) I don't know that it helps anything, but it does feed my sense of humor. And come to think of it, a little laugh every now and then is not a bad thing.
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