Our founders established yourself.online in 2018, after seeing first hand at Google how the information consumers shared online and subsequent lack of online privacy affected their access to opportunities. These large, online platforms are currently under scrutiny by the media and national governments for taking advantage of their customers, or “users”, either by using their data to exploit them through advertisements or selling user data to third parties.
The Netflix documentary, ‘The Social Dilemma’ has showcased the ways large technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc are profiting from businesses models intent on selling users attention, time and mindset. In this blog article, we dig deeper into these issues, how you can take control and what we are doing about it.
Online, free is never really free.
Every day, most of us use an overwhelming amount of websites and apps - all mostly for “free”. Every one of these services need a way to make money to run their businesses, pay their employees, keep the lights on...and so, if you’re not actually paying, they are finding other ways to make money off of you. Most commonly, these companies aggregate your data to sell personalized adverts to third parties looking to target a specific audience that would pay for their own product.
The data they store is more than just what you type in, every interaction you make is tracked and used to gather information about who you are and how you use the service, in order to sell your “profile” to advertisers. Bottom line; if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.
If it’s free - they want your attention.
If you have recently watched the newly popular Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, you will have seen that if a product is free, then your engagement is what's driving their business model. The documentary speaks to social media mimicking addiction, causing us to repeatedly need to check our screens multiple times a day as a result of algorithms utilizing our activity, posts, and data to create a perfect storm of content to keep us engaged.
You can do something about it.
The good news is that, there are steps you can take to be aware of and minimize how your data is being used by these large, internet companies and improve the way you interact on these sites:
- Decide if /and how much time you want to spend on social media; track your usage on your phone and computer.
- Be aware of default settings, use our step-by-step privacy guides to update your settings and turn off facial recognition, GPS tracking, cookies, etc.
- Review which accounts we find through our email address(es), and delete any legacy accounts you no longer use. Under privacy regulations such as GDPR, CASL, and CCPA you have the right to request all your personal data be deleted.
- Review our blog posts to learn how these companies are tracking your data and how you can update your privacy settings to be in control: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Venmo. (Full step-by-step instructions are available in our paid product.)
- Consider joining yourself.online to access our tools to clean up your social media and lock down your privacy
How we safeguard your personal data
At yourself.online, we have built a company that’s founded on trust, transparency, and privacy from the ground up. We’re a paid service, and we only use your data to provide our service to you. We’re mindful about the way you can use our service, we will always ensure we’re providing you with useful and valuable tools that enable you to take control. On top of that, you’re always able to easily delete your account or any of the data we hold.
Get started today and we’re always here to help
If you aren’t a yourself.online customer yet, we invite you to join us and try out our recently launched free features and learn more about what we offer in our latest release. If you ever need any advice or support, you’re welcome to call us on 512 961 8558 in the US or 020 7193 8292 in the UK or email firstname.lastname@example.org.