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How Your Online Presence Is a Commodity for Sale

January 18, 2022
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How Your Online Presence Is a Commodity for Sale

The majority of us don’t think like a criminal; we work hard and expect reasonable compensation. Criminals, on the other hand, seek opportunities to make money fast and without effort. They think about the world very differently in order to find those opportunities.

Information Is the New Currency

In today’s modern, connected world, information is gold. Marketers want to directly target your personal desires to tempt you to buy, buy, buy. 

Have you ever noticed that one day, you shop online for shoes, and the next day, an ad for the very same pair appears on your social media feed? That is an example of data about you that was sold. Someone tracked your browsing habits and sold the information to marketers who can now directly target your desires to motivate you to buy.

Personal data is a commodity that hackers seek to mine and sell. They see your online presence as a gold vein, full of rich data about your life that can be sold to the highest bidder. Vacation photos tell them where you like to travel, family photos tell them your lifestyle needs, and search queries divulge your interests. All these can be used to target you for advertisements.

Who’s Buying?

The advertisers want your data, and they may not be responsible for the methods used to gather it. Hackers can seem legit and sell the data to anyone. Reputable companies do not want to engage with criminals, but there may be so many intermediary parties involved that the data seems legit by the time it reaches the marketers. 

Or, there are theories that suggest those marketing companies are not so squeaky-clean and may seek this data. Accusations are made that some of the social media sites, apps, or users exist solely to cull data and sell to any who want it, regardless of the source. The purchasing agent may also be nefarious and want to target you for other purposes.

How Does It Work?

Sadly, it works because you offer the information! When you browse online, add terms to search engines, click on links or photos, or shop, you’re creating a digital footprint that leads right back to you. Nowadays, hackers follow the tracks and use social engineering to convince you to open the front door for them.  

Any social media sites are a wealth of data about you that is always vulnerable to hacking. We willingly give the world the name of our children, locations of our homes, schedules for our vacations, or lists of our preferences. It’s all there, and hackers are lurking to grab it up—and sell it all.

Protect Your Online Presence

The best protection is prevention. Don’t leak information and give away your data. Lock down devices with security programs that review and alert you to information mining or prompt you to investigate a site before using it. 

ABL Computers provides dependable data backup and recovery services for businesses big and small. Our data backup and recovery services include protecting your data and network from hacker attacks and virus threats, recovery plans that get you back up in running fast, and preventive measures that keep potential issues at bay.

Don’t wait for your network to go down or for your data to be hacked to call us! Read more about our data backup and recovery services here and book a call with us today. 

Do you need more personalized help? Schedule a FREE IT Security and Network Performance Assessment HERE.
ABL Computers
ABL Computers

Started in 2001, ABL Computers is a complete technology solution provider. We are 100% committed to making sure business owners have the most reliable and professional IT service in New York. Our team of talented IT professionals can solve your IT nightmares once and for all.

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