Protect Your Privacy Online

New legislation in Congress aims to to limit what Internet marketers can find out about you.

Millions of customers of some of the biggest businesses in the U.S. recently got a wake-up call when they were notified that a data breach at a large e-mail marketing firm had exposed customer names and e-mail addresses. The attack left the affected consumers vulnerable to spam-based scams known as spear phishing, in which cybercrooks use personalized e-mails to con you into sending money or divulging financial information.

But the incident also made people think about how much of their personal information is whizzing around in cyberspace, totally beyond their control. The effect was to intensify an ongoing debate about how to balance Web users' privacy against the demands of a gigantic Internet economy with a voracious appetite for personal data.

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Anne Kates Smith
Executive Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Anne Kates Smith brings Wall Street to Main Street, with decades of experience covering investments and personal finance for real people trying to navigate fast-changing markets, preserve financial security or plan for the future. She oversees the magazine's investing coverage,  authors Kiplinger’s biannual stock-market outlooks and writes the "Your Mind and Your Money" column, a take on behavioral finance and how investors can get out of their own way. Smith began her journalism career as a writer and columnist for USA Today. Prior to joining Kiplinger, she was a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and a contributing columnist for TheStreet. Smith is a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., the third-oldest college in America.