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Three online dealbreakers everyone should know

Do you trust who you're dealing with online? Consider these tips to protect yourself.
Consider these tips when sharing personal information online. Photo supplied.

Every time you go online or use an app, you’re making choices about who to do business with. While those choices may not be top-of-mind, not all businesses make your privacy a priority. As more companies ask for personal information, it can be confusing to know when it makes sense to fill something out and when to say no. Before sharing anything personal, get a better idea of how a company might treat you and your personal information, and check for these three things:

  1. Trust. If a company values its relationship with you, their privacy policy should be easy to find and easy to understand. Is it front and centre, or buried at the bottom of several pages? Beyond their privacy policy, have they shared how they will handle your personal information in an ethical manner? To be trustworthy, they should also have a solid track record of social responsibility, demonstrating a commitment to social purpose. These are big clues that tell you whether a business is thinking about you, or itself.

  2. Transparency. Companies should be clear and open about how your information will be used every time it is collected. They should earn your trust and make you feel comfortable that your information will be used responsibly.

    In fact, a recent survey by Telus revealed that only 30 per cent of Canadians trust organizations to protect their personal data, but more than half agree that organizations can increase their trust by being transparent about data use.
  3. Third-party permissions. Laws require companies to be upfront about if and how they will share your personal information with third parties. So be sure to review the explanations provided. Does the business say it will sell your data to advertisers? Or that it will never share your information with anyone without your permission?

With sophisticated new tools for collecting personal information now available, it’s more important than ever to make sure you understand how data is being used. You can check out an example of data trust practices that are leading the industry at