I live in a condo complex, advertisers therefor don’t like sending to much bulk spam. I briefly worked for an ad company; one whole day, I decided it wasn’t for me when the manager told us at the training thing that they don’t advertise pride things for the same reason they don’t advertise neo-nazi things. Being queer as… myself I had a lot of time to think about what was said the night after and did not go back for day two but that has nothing to do with desire to save the trees! That being said, if money is not a problem move to a multi dwelling complex (apartment, condo, town house, etc). Occasionally we get door to door free news papers on the premises which gives everyone fliers but the condo corporation eventually takes care of that telling the ad company to stop. In my mailbox I have a sticker saying no flyers, Canada post is pretty good at respecting that and I can go weeks without checking my mail as most important things are emailed sure the politics ads still come through but I do like seeing who’s running for whatever in my area.
The first apartment I lived in I would get the occasional thing addressed to someone else, I didn’t think much of it until medical stuff started showing up. I went to the plastic surgeons office and told them they needed to get their client to change addresses, I didn’t live there much longer but I stopped getting as much stuff not addressed to me.
I had a very bad experience with a car dealership so I am never going to deal with them again! They sent me a flyer and I politely emailed them asking them to stop. The next time I received a flyer from this car dealership I sent a stronger worded email to them and CC’d my local human rights commission, than in a separate email I filled a complaint. The human rights commission would later say they were not going to take on my case, I really wasn’t expecting them to (that is why I sent a complaint in a separate email so the dealership would not see the refusal) but the car dealership would stop contacting me and remove my contact information. When they reach out again I will be making a complaint to my local FCAA (Financially and Consumer Affairs Agency), I will take this to different agencies until I have it my way!
I know this is more for emails but it had a noticeable effect on meat space junk mail but I used saymineapp.com, I found a lot of accounts that had my information and closed them. Saymineapp.com is a free service that will go through your gmail or hotmail account and find the things you are signed up for and help you delete those accounts, it wasn’t much but there was a decrease in meat space junk mail sent to me. I also use incogni.com (this one does cost money) and have been for a few months now and have noticed my junk mail going down; more so virtual poop addressed to me but also some things addressed to my physical address here in meat space, as by this time I had stuck the note in my mailbox asking for no flyers, and the email I use for personal/professional email (not gmail). Someone, in another post, replied to my suggestions about not using these as they have had bad experiences with things online (I will discuss my bad experience with ID theft next); but I have “done my own research,” not like those silly anti-vaxxer dumb dumbs but by reading the literature published by both the agencies and third parties.
I had my ID stolen years ago, I got a 5 year credit lock put on my stuff. I strongly suggest against this though all it did was make everything stupidly hard for me it did however stop the credit theft and the “you have been pre-approved” for this credit card junk mail, if at all possible find out if there are shorter time periods than 5 years and absolutely positively don’t do it if you don’t need it. There are free services (at least here in Canada, I would be interested if it is available else where) that will monitor your credit; use a disposable email address for this as I hear you will get bombarded with spam, you will have to go check manually if there is any concern about your credit when using the disposable email address (which I do). I was first introduced to borrowell.com years ago, but still being scared from the credit lock I was hesitant to use it. About a year ago I was doing some work to get my mortgage figured out; the psychologist I see suggested using the site, but warned me of the junk mail that would be sent to my inbox. I use Apple’s hidemy for random emails, so after confirming the email I immediately disabled the email address. As I understand it there is similar features with gmail you just add a + or a . into your email; say you own firstname.lastname@example.org, when signing up for stuff you can add those symbols (examples maybe email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) it will all be sent to you, but then you can automatically filter it. With the gmail trick you wont see the spam but the Google still will, Google will still sell your data based on everything that comes into your email (junk mail and all) the Google knows everything so the stuff being sold to ad companies will include your address in meat space. In no way am I saying Apple doesn’t want to collect your data but they are a hardware company not a services/ad company.
I use a r/pihole setup on my home network more so for my virtual footprint and less so for snail mail ads, however it should prevent trackers from finding out things about you. If trackers don’t know stuff about you they will know less about what ads to snail mail in your area. If everyone where to do their part and slow the trackers your area would be less valuable to the ad market, I know it’s a pie in the sky idea but I can only dream. Before you think but how will governments know how to best serve areas with services they may or may not need I personally work for Statistics Canada (similar to the Bureau of the Census in the states) and know more about how the government keeps track of important information (anonymous information collected by these agencies is very important, and won’t be sold). With the statistics being anonymous things like averages such as; income, home value, ethnicity, age, etc are made public but again it is only averages sure the ad agencies still take that information and use it but it cannot go as far as the trackers can. There are (better?) ad blockers than a pihole but I am happy with my pihole. While away from home I use a VPN so if a tracker has found me they have no idea where I am.
I removed all of my files from Google Drive, all of my contacts in the Google address book, all of my calendar data, and as much of my personal data as possible. After having setup my pihole, removing as much data from the Google services that I could (minus Youtube), and using saymineapp.com my YouTube ads started getting real weird (Think Cialis followed by some adolescent zip remover), I could have setup a ublock origins hardware firewall (I may still in the future) but I want creators to be paid by the Google so I just got YouTube premium. I watch the “traditional” TV shows on the channels apps the following day and my pihole blocks those ads but I feel less guilty about the thieves that run traditional TV channels. If it wasn’t for YouTube I would have done as much as I could with saymineapp.com and then just closed my gmail account.
I used to get a lot of those scam calls, but about a decade ago I gave one of those scammers the run around. I was just being an ass to them; and magically I got less but when I did I was an ass to whomever it was. It was a good 8 years until 200 happened until my personal cell started getting those calls again, I am a public service worker so I get a kick out of it when my work phone gets government scam calls. I was at a union event and those scam calls got brought up, a CRA employee started telling a story about how the scam calls person manages to call the top manager of the CRA office in my city about his taxes in their office (Canadian Revenue Agency, like the IRS), but that is neither here nor there. 200 came along and I started getting scam calls again I tried being an ass to the scammers calling me from the “TSA,” why the TSA would be calling a Canadian I don’t know we have the CBS (Canadian Boarder Security), saying packages had been intercepted and the FBI have been contacted, again wrong agency they should be saying RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). My “alternative” method of removing my phone number from lists (being an asshole) was not working so I got into blocking numbers, it was just to hard so another way needed to be found. I don’t remember how I found out about the iPhone security things but now my iPhone is setup so that I only hear the ringer if the number is in my contacts, all others are immediately sent to voicemail. If my number is blocking all phone numbers than it is less likely to be sold to other scammers. I see the number in my missed calls and they can leave a message if they want, this is done locally on my phone not through some service and is “free,” I say “free” because to the best of my knowledge you need an iPhone don’t know how or if it can be done on an android phone. This has nothing to do with meat space junk mail just thought to throw it in.
Please know that we are in a stage of capitalism where we are no longer the consumer rather we are the product, the ad market sells us and our data. As discussed earlier I know some maybe scared about these services going bad, from the literature review I have done I am not concerned but I will respect anyone who doesn’t believe the research the same as those who do believe it. I know two, maybe four if you count my home, my phone, isn’t free (incogni.com and iCloud) but I hope it helps you out. It all starts somewhere, sorry to say but it is not as simple as sticking a sticky to your mailbox and takes a lot of work. I am a very open person I share way to much, but it is on my terms not others. Doing what I can online has lowered the amount of junk mail addressed to me, putting the no flyers sticky in my mailbox has lowered the amount of unwanted recycling and laminated garbage stuck in my mailbox, I went from needing to check my mail every week to not really needing to check my mail once a month. Anything important is emailed to me. I really dislike junk but sorry if my story is a little long but it is what I do.
If you know of other junk mail/ad prevention things please let this girl know!