Gathering Personal Information Discreetly

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Personal information is being increasingly gathered without an individual’s consent, whether by pressure groups, direct marketers, credit bureaus or even government agencies. This can be very distressing for people who want to maintain their privacy.

4. Be Prepared to Refuse

If you find yourself in a situation where someone asks you to be discreet, don’t be afraid to politely refuse. You’re not obligated to share personal information if it’s something that could cause you embarrassment or shame. Being discreet means being cautious and aware of your surroundings, so don’t be afraid to let the other person know you are uncomfortable with a particular request.

Discreet and discrete both come from the Latin word discretus, which means “separate or distinct.” Both words entered the English language in the 14th century, but discreet retained its spelling until the 16th century, when it began to take on its current meaning. Getting these two words right is crucial for being considered a courteous and considerate individual. For a quick trick to remember these words, some suggest imagining the adjacent e’s as two people huddled next to each other, sharing a secret–or being discreet!