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This simple trick tells you what websites are selling your data

Published Dec 14th, 2016 3:01AM EST

One of the harsh realities of the web is that many sites profile their customers, and then sell that data to third parties. It’s not just Google, Facebook, or Amazon, which probably do it better than anyone else. For better or worse, it’s the way the web works, and there’s no fixing it anytime soon. But there are ways to figure out who’s selling your data and a simple trick involves using your middle name to track the sites that track you.

Reddit user mc1nc4 figured out that the best way to track websites is to use their names in the middle name section of whatever form you might be prompted to fill in. When then data is sold to a third-party, and you start receiving spammy emails from that unknown business or person, you’ll at least know what site sold your data.

That does little to eradicate the problem. That site still sold your data, and advertisers that bought your profile are still going to spam you with emails and offers until you unsubscribe.

But you can at least take matters into your own hands and remove your data from the site that’s been selling it. That way, you can at least prevent others from getting their hands on your contact details and spamming you with promos.

Sure, it may be a little time consuming, but this neat trick lets you know how your data is being handled by certain sites, and whether you want to do business with them in the future.

If you’re even more serious about companies mining your data, then LifeHacker suggests you take a look at, a website that might help out with this annoying chore.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.