Why do Americans routinely give up personal data for paltry financial return — especially in the digital age where the risk of consumer fraud is all too real?
That’s a good question, because the problem is all too real.
A new study by Atlas VPNa network and security services company, shows that 70% of Americans would knowingly share personal data with an online business just to get a discount on the purchase.
Unfortunately, sharing personal data to get 20% off a pair of jeans or even a more expensive item like headphones or laptops opens the door to consumer data fraud, even if those consumers don’t seem to like it. to know.
“While sharing personal data such as age, career, location, previous purchases and hobbies is not a good idea, many people do not see it as making them vulnerable,” a said Baruch Labunski, managing director of Rank Secure, a Toronto-based Internet marketing firm. “They think the information is already out there, it’s not that important, and they’re concerned about saving money.”
Labunski thinks this trend is becoming more prevalent in these tough economic times with high gas prices, a shortage of food on the shelves and people looking for all kinds of savings.
“People, especially younger people, are already pre-conditioned to give out personal information,” he said. They have become accustomed to sharing everything on social media and often participate in “quizzes” on platforms designed to give away their most personal information, leading to passwords on everything from social media to bank accounts.
Try these moves instead of sharing personal information
The good news? There are plenty of opportunities to save money without sharing personal information.
Enter a code. According to Andrea Woroch, personal finance expert at AndreaWoroch.com, transaction aggregators like www.CouponFollow.com post coupons for thousands of retailers where you can enter the discount code to save online without having to share personal data.
“You can even earn money back on your online purchase by buying through a cashback portal like www.CouponCabin.com to double the savings without sharing any personal information,” Woroch said.
Automate the coupon process. Download a coupon plugin in your browser, like www.Cently.com. “This will automatically apply discount coupons and free shipping to your online orders without asking for personal data,” Woroch added.
Unsubscribe from information gathering sites. Consumers can also begin to unsubscribe.
“If you feel like you’ve shared too much personal data and you’re being bombarded with newsletters and text messages from retailers, unsubscribe and delete your information,” Woroch said. “Use Edison Mail for help as they offer a one-touch unsubscribe feature and can even identify messages and accounts you may want to get rid of in your inbox.”
Add a harmless email address. One final tip: create a marketing-only email address to sign up for email discounts.
“This allows consumers to separate their personal information from that special email address and can provide them with the anonymity they seek,” said Greg Zakowicz, senior e-commerce expert at Omnisend in Durham, North Carolina. “But more importantly, remember, nothing in life is free.