You’re probably familiar with how mailing lists works, but here’s the overview: the mailing list is opt-in, which means you need to manually sign-up in order to join the list. The list stores your first name, last name, and email address only. I’ll use the mailing list to send out announcements whenever I have a new book to tell you about, so you should receive an email a few times a year at most. This mailing list is private and I will not provide the contents to anyone else, and I will only use it for the purpose intended. You can unsubscribe at any time by visiting the unsubscribe page.
I use Google Analytics to track visits to my website. This lets me see trends in visitors over time, and understand things like mobile vs desktop browser use, or to see which websites people are coming from to get to my site.
Analytics, Advertising, and Cookies
I’ve turned on the “remarketing” features of Google Analytics, to enable interest-based advertising.
What this means is if you come to my website – or watch a video on my Youtube channel – I can in the future ask Google to show my ads specifically to people who have visited my website or watched my videos previously. The assumption is that someone who has already seen my stuff is more likely to be interested in ads about my stuff. It also allows targeting ads geographically (which is great for any small business owner who is only looking for local clientele.) I can’t tell who individual people are, so I can’t target or get information on any specific person.
Cookies are in use to help enable this feature. A cookie is a small file that stores basic information which can help with gathering statistics on website visits. In this case, these cookies enable interest-based advertising to function based on past-visits to my website. Interest-based ads could appear on different third-party websites you go to. So these ads could appear on any website that uses Google for advertising, based on your browsing activity. This page has some good info on cookies: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/cookies-information-websites-store-on-your-computer
There are two websites you can visit to opt-out of this activity:
First, Google’s Ads settings, which is specific to Google: http://www.google.com/settings/ads
Second, there are other third-party advertising networks other than Google. So you might want to check out the NAI opt-out page, which handles opt-outs for many third-party sites: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp
Another option is to browse the web with a private browser, such as Firefox’s “Incognito” mode. The problem with this option is it blocks everything, including useful features of cookies such as remembering your login to a website, making it an inconvenient option.