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FYI - Businesses Are Stalking You Online!!

Have you ever noticed ads that seem to follow you around the internet? These ads aren't just creepy - they could be impacting you more than you know.

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1. What?!? How are businesses stalking me?

So, you know all those weird Facebook pages you liked in 8th grade and those body pillows you looked up on Amazon last week? How about those late night Google searches for WebMD articles when you think you're dying or for free ways to watch your favorite TV shows? Marketers know alllll about that. And more. A lot more. Marketers gather up all of your personal information on the internet and use that to recommend products and show new ads as you browse online, which are called retargeting ads. Consumer information is the lifeblood of marketers - the more we give, the more they drink up and fuel their intense obsession with following us around.

2. Why me? Why is this happening???

All marketers want is your MONEY, honey! They think if they can cozy up to you by stalking you around the internet, you will end up buying more of their products. They think ad personalization is the key to their success. See, they want to become that friend that knows your style and personality better than you do and you trust implicitly to make all of your buying decisions. And, with all that stuff you tweeted last week, they might just succeed.

3. But what about my right to privacy?!?

I know you've heard all the clichés about nothing actually being private on the internet and you should be prepared for anything you do to be traced back to you. Turns out, this is true. Businesses sometimes sneakily hide info about what they know about you right before you say one of the most frequent internet lies: "I have read and accept these terms and conditions." Ain't nobody got time to read those things! If you want to know all of the information a business is collecting about you, you gotta at least skim it. I know its the worst, but internet safety is so important. Stand up for your rights!!

4. So, obviously this has been happening to me for a while. Nothing that bad has happened yet. Why does this matter now?

The future of the internet as we know it is at stake!! Consumers need to stay aware of what businesses are doing and keep them in check. If technology gets too strong and businesses get control of too much information, it can lead to disastrous consequences. Maybe not to the level of a zombie apocalypse, but there could be a large security breach and everyone's personal information could be compromised. Or, businesses could get too cocky and think they can get away with anything since we don't pay enough attention to anything that takes more than 30 seconds to read. Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes - stay informed.

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