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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2012

Easy new way to protect your privacy online



By Clark Howard


Not all websites are created equal. Some are really nosy with their spying on you, while others respect your privacy.

If you want to know if a popular site you visit regularly should be giving you the full creep-out factor, you can go to PrivacyScore.com. The site estimates the privacy risk of using a website based on how they handle your personal and tracking data.

Recently, PrivacyScore has been upgraded with new functionality that's being called PrivacyFix.com.

With this tool, you can instantly check your privacy settings across Facebook, Google, and 1,000 other websites collecting your data. The free service also offers simple one-click fixes for any privacy settings you want to lock down even tighter.

In addition, you may have heard me talk in the past about ZabaSearch.com. It's weird when you go to that site and see what kind of info is out there about you.

Let's say maybe you had a relationship with somebody who really frightened you. With ZabaSearch, they could know in seconds where you live and what your phone number is.

ZabaSearch says they have a way request that your info be filtered out of their search results, but I've heard from listeners that requests for removal haven't gone well.

This is an era where the ability to pierce your privacy is so much easier than it used to be. Here in America, it's basically the Wild West and we have no meaningful privacy standards. It has been anarchy.

Unfortunately, I can't give you an insta-way to shut down the spying on you. But it is good to know who the worst offenders are and to have something you can do about it.