6 Ways to Prevent Scammers and Spammers from Getting Your Information

By now, we have all had the experience of receiving a spam or scam call, but not everyone knows how these people receive our information in the first place.


Most of the time they buy your information from a completely legal business called a data broker. Data brokers are a part of a multimillion-dollar industry that work to collect and then sell off your personal information.


These brokers gain access to significantly more information about you than you might think or more than you might like.


How much information do data brokers collect on consumers? (according to BitDefender, 2022)


Most data brokers use the same data collection processes to gather as much information as possible on individuals. The process begins by combing through public records such as census data, birth certificates, property records, vehicle registration records, marriage licenses, divorce records and voter registration information.


Unfortunately, this is not all they do.


They also collect data on your online activities across websites, certain mobile apps, and social media accounts. They can also buy your credit card and transaction history from various e-commerce websites.


What do data brokers do with our personal information?


Data brokers do all of this in order to label you into specific categories according to your interests, dislikes, and demographic. This data is shared with marketing firms in order to target you.


Unfortunately, this can also allow scammers and spammers to purchase private information in order to exploit and target individuals that are affected by very personal matters: “Investigations have found that people are defined by their depression, diabetes, cancer and pregnancy… It’s a massive, harmful invasion of privacy and also incredibly dangerous. ” (The Guardian, 2022).


On John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ show, he explained this problem further: “All of the free stuff that you take for granted online is only free because you are the product.”


In one recent case, Epsilon, one of the world’s largest marketing companies, agreed to pay $150 million after it sold the data of millions of US citizens to spammers targeting senior citizens with e-mail-based fraud schemes, including sweepstakes and astrology solicitations.


What you can do to boost your online privacy and security?


At Genie, we are working hard every day to put an end to scams and harassing spam calls. We have compiled a list of our top tips in order to help you stay safe from online data brokers:

  1. Don’t post personal information on social media as this is a very easy and accessible method brokers use to get your information. When sharing information with your friends and family, consider making your social media accounts private.

  2. Be wary of any online offers that are heavily discounted or free - Avoid filling out online quizzes and other marketing schemes promising you great discounts or free gifts as the information they gather will be sold.

  3. Be very selective with the mobile apps you use. Only use trustworthy apps that promise never to sell your data. Review the apps you currently have and uninstall any unused applications as they can silently collect your data and sell it.

  4. Take time to review your devices’ privacy and security settings - you might not be aware of where your data is being collected so it's best to review and change the settings to fit your security preferences.

  5. Use personal information security technologies and solutions - there are specific web browsers that do not track your online activity, such as DuckDuckGo search engine and the Brave browser. VPNs are also available with anti-tracking and ad-blocking capabilities to boost your online safety and privacy.

  6. Don’t interact with unknown and unsolicited communications (be it phone call, email, or text messaging) - they are often trying to target you in order to gain more of your information. You can use a screening application like Genie, the artificial intelligence assistant that evaluates all incoming calls and lets you know who's calling and why.


PROTECT YOURSELF WITH GENIE

Prevent any unwanted phone calls from harassing marketers and scammers by downloading Genie on your mobile device: (https://www.lifesgenie.com/)


HOW GENIE WORKS TO PROTECT YOU:

Genie can quickly identify complex patterns in scam calls to determine the true intent of any given call.

Genie gives you the power to reclaim your phone by filtering out all scammers and harassing spammers.







1. Incoming calls from known contacts?

Genie doesn’t intervene, letting them straight through.


2. Incoming calls from known scammers or spammers?

Genie blocks them automatically, so you don't get bothered.


3. Incoming calls from anyone else? (e.g. local delivery person or doctor)

Genie screens them, notifies you who’s calling and why, and allows you to decide who gets through.


Try Genie for yourself

If you're interested in becoming a Genie Early Access user, click here to apply: https://www.lifesgenie.com/join-genie-beta-program


Please share this information to keep others protected!

Stay safe

Genie Team