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Most data is obtained legally, with your consent. But many times you don’t recognize when you are providing your information. There are many steps you can take to help protect your privacy. Here are a few more that are driven by the upcoming election cycle:

Stop filling out political surveys you get in the mail or over the phone. No matter what they say or imply, those surveys are not directing the actions of any organization. Organizations have boards, or funders or founders that determine organizational goals.

Stop taking online quizzes and personality tests. Don’t give your information to random phone callers. They don’t give you any valuable feedback.

Your answers to these kinds of efforts are only used to market to you. If you tell them your most important issue is in support of pink elephants you will later receive postcards letting you know that the candidate they want elected supports pink elephants. It really doesn’t matter if that issue is important to the candidate or the organization funding the mailer, it is important to you.

Your interest is used against you to leverage your opinion in support of their goals, whoever “they” are. This is the reality of today’s marketing. It is marketing on Facebook, direct mail, and those ads that follow you around online.

Your opinion is valuable. But you have to determine if the claims about some candidate or issue agreeing with you is real or just a wedge being used to manipulate you.

Sandy Welch

Kalispell

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