Stop Junk Mail and Telemarketers
The opt-out contacts listed above primarily deal with unsolicited mail and telephone calls from companies you have nothing to do with. But what about stopping the spread of your personal information from companies with which you already do business?
How to Protect Yourself
Once a year, financial institutions are required to inform their customers how they use their personal information, and what opt-out rights those customers have.
These notices sometimes provide a mailing address (or, more rarely, a phone number or a website address) that permits customers to stop their financial institutions from sharing their personal information with unaffiliated third parties. This is that rare offer you truly should not refuse: Taking them up on it may halt junk mail that originates from totally unsuspected sources. Even if you don't take this step, you can always stop the spread of your personal information the good old-fashioned way: Contact your bank, credit-card issuer or insurer and inform them you are opting out of sharing.