How can a company know so much about you? How can advertisers “target” you with their offers? We will dive a bit into how online tracking works, specifically with your email address.
It starts with you visiting a seemingly benign website. It may be a fashion clothing store or a news site.
When you browse for a moment, the familiar pop-up overlay shows up and asks for your personal email address to continue.
They promise you “exclusive” access to their events tailored and weekly “specials” just for you. We all know that these “deals” are just regular run of the mill offers they provide everyone. I mean really, if one needs to do is just give an email address to sign up, how exclusive can they be?
Some of the these are even more annoying in that if you don’t give your personal email address, they won’t even let you read an article or see their clothing line. What really means that they are forcing you to accept that they can spam you with email but masking it as something else.
If you’re a regular user of Tempemail.co, you know that you can simply go to Tempemail.co and get your own private temporary email address when you run into the above situations. You’ll use it for that one-time and then carry on with your internet meanderings.
Let’s say instead of a temporary one given to you by Tempemail.co, you decide to give them your personal email address. . Here’s what they do with it.
First they generate a unique identifier for your email address. Though they can use more sophisticated algorithms now, the old way was to take a MD5 Sum of it.
So the news site which you provided your personal email address to now creates a unique ID of it, let’s say for simplicity it’s: ABC123.
The news site starts saving a list of all the news articles which you read. They may even track comments that you left for each article, whether you liked the article etc… And they start creating a profile of you from there.
Now let’s say an Advertiser approaches the news site and says: “I want to buy all your email addresses that fall under this type of person.” Then, The news site says yes, we can sell you that and provides all the email addresses along with their unique IDs.
Back to you…
Then you head over to the clothing site and give your personal email address to them.
Then the clothing store can create a unique ID out of your email address and send that information to the same Advertiser mentioned above.
Then, This Advertiser takes that unique ID, looks in their database and “analyzes” your profile, which could represent the news articles you’ve read, your income, age and any other personal information which they may have purchased.
They find an ad that they believe you’ll click on based on this information about you. They say to the clothing web site, show this ad on your website.
The clothing store makes money and the Advertiser adds more information about you to your “profile” if you click on the ad.
Simplified but true
The above example is simplified (if you can believe that!) but this type of stuff happens on the internet 24/7.
We highly recommend you use a private, secure temporary email address from Tempemail.co if you value your privacy, and don’t believe that what you read and view on the internet is anyone else’s business.
Stay safe out there!