How Do You Protect Personal Information When Using Digital Payment Devices | Q&A with Patrick Marshall

Question: I visited a new business in Sumner and paid on their Square device with my Alaska Airlines credit card. I did not opt ​​for a receipt and at no time did I give them my email address. The next day I received an email with a coupon for my next visit. I know privacy is dropping fast, but is there a way to protect against businesses receiving your email other than paying cash?

Charles E. Bernasconi

A: There are several ways that a business may have connected your credit card to your email address.

First, if you provided your email address when using that credit card on Square, Square will store the connection and allow other merchants to send to that email address.

Square offers Square Profile (, an online portal that allows you to view and manage your personal information. If you sign in to your profile, you can opt out of receiving digital receipts or promotional communications from the companies you buy from.

Another possibility is that credit bureaus such as Experian and Equifax, as well as other companies, collect and connect this data and sell it to merchants and others who wish to reach you.

Yes, our personal data is available and is connected in many ways that we may not like. I am all in favor of strengthening US laws to protect personal data. Europe has set an admirable standard in this regard with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Question: I am not a computer expert, but I am sure my problem is not uncommon. I bought a Dell laptop about 15 years ago. It was put aside for a few years and now I can’t access it because I can’t remember the password. I tried everything I could think of. I’m ready to give up and throw the thing away, but can’t remember what’s on it and feel like I should wipe it off before throwing it away. Of course, I am unable to do this. Should I just throw it in the trash? What do you recommend?

Kym morgan

A: Don’t throw this computer away! If you don’t want to worry about it anymore, take it to a computer recycling service. They usually clean the records.

I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but there is a program called Kon-Boot that claims to allow you to boot Windows XP through Windows 10. There is also a version for Mac. You can find out more here: The cost for personal use is $ 27.

You will also need a USB stick with at least 16 gigabytes of space to use Kon-Boot.

Once you get started, you can create a new local administrator account.

I admit that I feel two things about this. Obviously, the big plus is that you are accessing your computer. The downside is that someone else who is accessing your computer can too.

Question: I am using Outlook 2016 Pro and have two email accounts. The first, for work, had no problem. This is a Post Office Protocol (POP) account. Personal email is an Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and for some reason will take emails from the inbox and move them to the trash. I have a few emails from August 2021 that are still in the inbox, but a few days ago I got four or five emails that I received two days ago and they moved to the recycle bin. Some of them have been read and some unread. Is there a parameter that I am missing? I asked some friends and they have no idea. I went online too, but couldn’t find anything that works. There does not seem to be a time limit for their movement. I just want to move them when I want to.

E. Woo

A: Are you also accessing this IMAP account from another device?

The main difference between POP3 (the third version of POP) and IMAP is that IMAP will sync emails across multiple devices. So, for example, if you delete emails on your phone, when you verify this account on your computer, those emails will be in the trash.

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