Thursday , June 17 2021

What your email address finds about you (and how advertisers use it)



What does your email address say about you? You may never have asked yourself that question, but for many advertisers the answer can be the key to knowing who you are, what your interests are and even what your financial situation is.

Every day, 270 million emails are sent worldwide, according to a report prepared by research firm Radicati Group. Some contain valuable information.

But it is not always necessary for a hacker to access your inbox to get to know you better: only tracesare you Email Online To get information.

The BBC conducted an experiment to find out what you can know about a complete stranger by simply emailing.

And Smith Smith, a software developer and researcher at Microsoft thinking British demos, did a thorough search on the Internet for Michelle's email address, A woman who says she hardly uses social networks.

"I use social networks sporadically, and I would be surprised if I had a lot of information, especially in politics," Michel told the BBC. The experiment made him change his mind.

These are some things Smith can find out about.

Purchasing power

The first thing Smith discovered was Michelle He was looking for an apartment… and what price he offered him. When you gave your email address on a website, this information appeared.

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"We think you have it US $ 28,000 £ less Of what they asked of him, "he said to Michelle, who looked at him in disbelief.

"All this information is very useful because it helps me get an idea of ​​what I can use to convince him during a campaign (advertising or political)," the BBC expert said.

And whether your data can be used for a variety of advertising purposes that organize each potential buyer or buyer by categories based on gender, age, interests, or social status, among others.

The family status

Smith also learned about Michelle because she is married and that her husband is a photographer. And has a daughter and lives in London, the capital of Britain.

And more …

"The Internet also has Your signature and that of your husband"Smith told Michelle, to her surprise.

"I'm worried that someone can get information about me and what I can do with it," Michel replied.

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What counts as your fingerprint

Msgstr "When you download an application, you subscribe to a A newsletter Or create an online account, they ask you for an email address, and that address is an important part of your fingerprint, "said Ashley Watkins, a professional on his blog.

"By performing a search of your email address, anyone can see What music are you listening to? (M Apps Such as Pandora or Spotify) or What social networks have you joined? "

Watkins recommends "take a few minutes and Google your email address": "You'll be surprised at what you can find."

It also ensures that your email address can be used by recruiters to find details Like your birthdate, the year you finished or your nicknames.

Therefore it is better to do "cleaning" from time to time; That is, to verify what results you're viewing when you search for your email address on the web and delete it from the ones you do not want to be linked to.

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