Secure Your Amazon Profile

Did you know you have a public Amazon profile that is automatically created when you sign up for an Amazon account? This profile doesn’t provide too much information publicly by default, but it is another data point for 3rd parties. Michael Bazzell from Intel Techniques provided a quick guide in his latest email newsletter on how to take a few easy steps to secure your Amazon profile.

The following is an excerpt taken from his email, and is intended only for a quick reference. For the complete guide and his other material, please see his website listed above. I claim no credit for this tutorial.

1) Remove your Amazon public profile

Your Amazon profile is created automatically, whether you want it or not, and it contains comments, ratings, public Wish Lists, biographical information, and other site interaction. This profile doesn’t include your purchases or your browsing history, but it’s very informative. If you want to control what activity is visible on your public profile, do the following:

Put your cursor on the “Account & Lists,” button and then click on “Your Account”

Scroll down to the “Ordering and shopping preferences” section. Click the “Profile” link above the social media preferences link

Click on the link in the orange box to the right that says, “Edit your profile”

Click the “Edit privacy settings” tab

Select “Hide all activity on your profile”

If your profile is showing your real name, or other biographical information you don’t want, go back to the profile settings page and click the Edit profile tab. You can edit or delete any information like your Bio, Occupation, Location, and more. You can even change the “public name” on your profile and post reviews anonymously.

2) Make your lists private

There are two main “lists” on Amazon; the Shopping List, and the Wish List. Many people use their Wish Lists for gift ideas, but we often use Wish Lists as a log of items we don’t want to forget. The trouble is, anyone in the world can find your Wish List by searching your name. To check the privacy settings of your Amazon Lists, do the following:

Click on the “Accounts & Lists” drop-down box then select “Shopping List” or “Wish List”

On this “Your Lists” page, click on three dots (next to “Share List”) then select “Manage List”

Change your list details like your list name, the name of the recipient, email, and birthday

Change the list’s privacy by clicking on it and selecting “Private” on the drop-down box

3) Stop Amazon from tracking your browsing

Amazon tracks all your browsing activity by default. The company saves your searches, including items you recently viewed and product categories you browsed. All of this information helps Amazon create targeted ads. Although your browsing history is hidden from the public, you may find this habit unsettling. To stop Amazon from tracking your browsing activity, do the following:

On the upper menu, click on “Your Browsing History”

On the next page, click on the “Manage history” drop-down arrow

Toggle “Turn Browsing History on/off” to Off

Clear your entire browsing history here by clicking the “Remove all items” button

Return to “Your Account” page

Under “Email alerts, messages, and ads,” click “Advertising preferences”

On this page, select “Do Not Personalize Ads from Amazon for this Internet Browser”

Hit “Submit”