Too often when we’re shopping online, we don’t even think about the seller’s privacy policy. It looks like gobbledygook to most of us and it doesn’t seem particularly important.

However, the privacy policy can have a tremendous impact on your life. If your information is shared illegally, you could be vulnerable to everything from advertising harassment to identity theft and compromised banking information.

Protecting Your Information and Your Finances

Seeking out and reading the privacy policies for online sellers is critical to protect your own identity and your financial safety. Far too many online sellers abuse the trusting indifference of consumers.

Here are some important tips for you as you shop online:

  • California law requires online sellers to provide a clear privacy policy that outlines what information they will share with others, who they will share it with, and under what circumstances they will share this information.
  • Online merchants who do not provide this type of privacy policy should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
  • Some sellers have either inadequate information in their privacy policies or they have no policy at all.
  • It is important to avoid providing more information than is necessary for the purchase. Giving too much information just opens you up to possible privacy violations.

Although local, state and national laws are beginning to clamp down on violations by online sellers, there is still significant danger for consumers. It is critical to watch for privacy policies and protect your personal information.

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