Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you ("Firm Offers"). The FCRA also provides you the right to "Opt-Out", which prevents Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from providing your credit file information for Firm Offers.
Pre-screened credit card offers, etc.
DMAchoice is an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail. This site is part of a larger program designed to respond to consumers' concerns over the amount of mail they receive, and it is the evolution of the DMA's Mail Preference Service created in 1971.
Catalogs, coupons, special offers.
Customize or opt-out of directory delivery.
Dead-tree phone books of all kinds.
Removing your address takes 5-6 weeks. Why? Our RedPlum packages are printed and addressed 5-6 weeks in advance of the mailing date, so it takes approximately 5-6 deliveries before you actually stop receiving it.
RedPlum sends you coupons that you may or may not find useful.
PaperKarma lets you take photos of the unwanted mail you want to stop. Snap a photo, and you're done. We automatically contact the Mailer and remove you from their distribution list. PaperKarma® can stop most unwanted mail that is addressed directly to you.
We used this smartphone app to unsubscribe to the many, many catalogs that were coming to our house addressed to other people. It took a few months to get them all, but our mailmain literally thanked us for it.
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.
It's already illegal for telemarketers to call cell phones. You can de-list your home phone here.
If the calls continue, log the call and file a complaint.
The NAI Opt-out Tool was developed in conjunction with our members for the express purpose of allowing consumers to "opt out" of the behavioral advertising delivered by our member companies.
For example, prevent Google from serving you ads "relevant" to your Amazon purchases. It's unclear whether the big players (Google, etc.) actually honor these settings, but many offer their own opt-outs:
Note that these opt-outs are per-browser, so you'll need to do them in every browser on every computer/device you use.
Ghostery tracks the trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.
Browser plug-in that lets you know which ad networks are attached to the site you're viewing.
Those double-underlined links that show you an ad when you hover over them. Kontera, Infolinks and Vibrant/Intellitxt are the big names, and none of them offers a global opt-out, though they do require their affiliates to let you opt-out.
The NAI Opt-out Tool (above) will get you part of the way. Ad-blocking browser plug-ins are better. If you're a nerd, you can do something like this:
Last update: 27 May 2015.