Let’s say you want to research boating for a friend, so you visit lots of boating websites, and signup online for various boating newsletters to learn more. You register on websites to get more information.
Through the above activity, you’ve now been tracked by search engines and with website cookies that now identify you as a boating enthusiast. Your email address may get sold as part of a mailing list for those interested in boating.
Now, as you browse the Internet, you’ll see boating ads on every website. You’ll begin to get plenty of unsolicited emails about boating. Targeted advertising and emails can sometimes be helpful if they are actually something we’re interested in. Otherwise, they are just a nuisance.
If you’re someone who does research for other people, you may want to consider setting up a research account or identity.
With the help of a friend, or on your own, follow these steps to make this work:
- Setup a user account on your computer that’s dedicated to researching a specific topic or topics. Only use that account for research. Use your normal account for the things you’re interested in.
- Setup a free Gmail or Outlook.com email address for signing up to receive newsletters.
- Save documents, bookmarks, and downloaded PDF files to that dedicated user account.
Now, every time you login, you’ll have all the things related to the research you’re doing without cluttering up your own user account, browser, or email account.