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“Uncheck” This Out!

Some internet companies are quite sneaky. Or, in my opinion, unethical.

Here are two scenarios:

  • You purchase an item on the internet and sign up for the free account with the store so you can track your purchase. In the sign-up process, there is an option to allow this company — and others with whom they are affiliated — to send you promotional email. The option is already checked!
  • You upgrade your Java software (a free upgrade which you should do) and in the process of upgrading there is an option to download the free Ask.com toolbar and make it your default search engine (this search engine has nothing to do with the Java software itself). The option is already checked!

I am NOT suggesting that you stop shopping on the internet (egad!) or stop upgrading your Java software. I am suggesting that you look at every option in these and other internet processes to be sure that you uncheck any option you don’t want.

If a box is pre-checked and you don’t un-check it, you are “opting in” to the program.

Unethical? I think so, but the debate continues. Marketers will continue to pre-check options as long as it serves their purpose.

Take an extra minute in any internet transaction to be sure you are opting into only what you wish to receive. Clicker beware!