smart spending

What to look for in a privacy policy

How secure is it?
How secure is it? © Lichtmeister/Shutterstock.com

If you decide to do business with a company and, consequently, share your personal information, make sure to check on their security measures. Look for a security certification seal or at the very least, to see if the company offers a way for consumers to update information that the company has on file.

Every privacy policy should include an email or other contact information in case you feel your personal information was compromised. Messing recommends asking websites how long they retain your information and what rights you have to delete your information, including the data that have been shared with third parties.

And many websites won't collect personal information from children under a certain age. Apple says it will delete any information that unknowingly comes from a minor under 13.

"Ultimately, if a company is strong on privacy, they will advertise this fact directly," says Jacobs. "You won't have to wade through the privacy policy to find it."

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