Opt Out from Behavioral Online Advertising with tools

Interest and online behavior advertising inundates us daily when websites use your browsing history to predict what ads you should see. Luckily, there are some free tools with participating advertisers that allow you to opt out. The advertisers in question dig into your life, peeking into your browser cookies so they can tell where you recently visited and what may entice you into clicking more ads.

The Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice page allows you to view over 125 participating advertising companies and have a simple tool to help you opt out. I personally have visited this page more than once because this tool needs to be used on every computer you use to browse the Internet.  I also make sure to visit the Your Online Choices page that offers similar services but different companies appear. Depending on your browsing habits you may need to visit both.

Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice - You can view the entire list of participating companies, see what companies have current ads customized based on your behavior and see what you have opted out from already. Use the Select All checkbox to make it even quicker to opt out.

Digital Alliance Advertising Consumer Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Online Choices - this service is a bit harder to scroll through the long list, with no select all. It does offer you the ability to quickly toggle on/off each advertiser, including those that are not reporting correctly.  It was interesting to see the variance of companies found on each page.

Your Online Choices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suggest you bookmark this page as I update tools or bookmark those sites themselves.  I was shocked the first time I visited to see the number of companies in the alliance that are not affiliated but share data access in the cookies for advertising.  Some would say you could also exclusively use Private Browsing services that every major browser now offers. However, it is not the default action of Internet browsers and you must actively switch to private tabs and sessions.

Leave other tools and sites in the comments below.  I am guessing many will say to turn off all cookies or use add on tools, but those can block cookies you use for other preferences or slow your browser down.  Either way you need to take prevention steps.

You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling book review

You Are the Key: Unlocking Door Through Social SellingI read You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling cover to cover as someone that is very familiar with the content and their goals. If I stepped back and looked at it from a new comer to the ideas of using social networks as a social selling tool, they cover the basics very thoroughly and then get a bit lighter in the actual selling.

The book only has one flaw that got in my way an that was the breaking up of the networks across the chapters causing them to repeat themselves. I think they could have covered all of the initial aspects in You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling, then set up each network thoroughly, then closed up with social selling as a whole. Jumping back and forth of a topic and then into each network made you have to go back and forth between them to validate what they referred to (or set it up if new).

The book does include many screenshots of steps making that helpful to follow along. I only found a few things that had already changed since they wrote this. But, that is the nature of social networks in how fast they change the UI and possibly where you click menus.

There are eight chapters in all with some resources at the end. I personally go against (and present in depth on it) some of what they instructed you to do in chapter 3 on setting up your social personas. I feel they have you giving too much information in some of the examples.

Overall, readers of You Are the Key: Unlocking the Door Through Social Selling can walk any C-level person through creating social network accounts and using each as a tool to reach more prospects. I would try to look for each social network in each chapter and go through the book that way. Finish a network setup and understand how to use it before going on the next one.

Thanks to them for sending this over free for review. I had a great grasp of the total concept which made it a bit easier for me to dissect it.

Mobile Passport app from US Customs – review

Recently US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched the Mobile Passport application for everyone entering through select airports. The Mobile Passport allows you to skip the lines and even the new automated kiosks and head straight to a special (hopefully quicker and shorter) line.  At the time of writing this there were five airports currently live and the ability to email them your next choices.

The Mobile Passport App by Airside Mobile lets you skip the line at US airports for Custom and Border Protection (CBP). Just fill out your profile and answer CBP’s questions – then go straight to the “Mobile Passport Control” express lane at the airport!

To get the application you can head to the official MobilePassport.us website and click the links for the iOS or Android versions so you know you are getting the real CBP apps.  While I did not find any fake ones yet, you will be scanning and entering your actual US Passport information so I would make sure it is the real one you are downloading.

Us Mobile Passport setup

Setup of the application itself was quite simple.  You enter your profile information from your official US Passport. This includes taking a picture of yourself and then scanning the barcode on your passport or entering it all manually.  I did this step both ways and like the scanning but did not get it to work every time.  Another bonus is that a single family can all use one app.  Each person needs a profile/entry into the application. but you do not all need the app on your phone.  Individuals travelling would need the app installed.

YouTube Red – a week in review

YouTube logo

I had to spend some serious time with YouTube Red to really get a valid opinion. So a week of deep diving and usage and here is my review and opinions.  The first thing I had to take into account was how much do the ads really bother me?  Honestly I am so used to them since the start I ignore them.  Even the additions of cards, links and other monetization doesn’t dissuade me and the masses from watching.

With YouTube Red you enter a world of

Ad-free videos whenever you sign in to YouTube or a YouTube app—on your mobile device, desktop, or enabled TV. Take your videos on your commute or your next trip. Relax or rock out to your music without listening to ads. Watch what you want, whenever you want.

Now in theory that sounds great. But most YouTube videos are about 4 minutes and I am always connected when it is important.  I do not see myself worrying about 4 minute videos when on a plane.  I have movies and other media for that.  Heck they really do not even have an official YouTube Red logo yet.

Membership

I was slightly shocked at the $9.99/month fee (even with the free trial period) for YouTube Red.  While I may “Keep supporting artists and the people who make your favorite videos, even while watching without video ads” I am sure most are making a ton of money off of ads already. How is my $9.99 subscription paid across the content creators? Number of views? Downloads? Subscribers?  What if I watch if offline 400 times, do they get more? I see a big flaw in this model if they are losing ad revenue.