Tweak your tech settings to protect your privacy

So much of our sensitive personal data is being tracked and sold that trying to protect our privacy can seem like a pointless exercise.

We can disable the location tracking on phone apps only to find new apps stalking us the next time we check. We can turn off personalized advertising and still get bombarded by marketers that ignore our wishes. We can be fooled by language that’s designed to protect companies’ access to data rather than our privacy.

All this surveillance allows advertisers to manipulate us into spending more. People who are struggling financially can be targeted by predatory lenders and other seedy companies. If there’s a database breach, criminals can buy our information for just a few dollars and use it to impersonate or target us for various scams.

As individuals, we have limited ability to stop the prying. Meaningful action typically must come from regulators and lawmakers. In my latest for the Associated Press, what steps we can take to reclaim small but significant chunks of privacy and send a signal to companies that we don’t like what they’re up to.

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