Sunday, 11 October 2020

Customer Data Harvesting: Protecting Yourself from The Growing Privacy Menace

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Big data is one of the biggest industries right now. 

You might not know it, but the data you are sharing on the internet is more than what you are actively sharing. This is because you are likely being tracked by companies and marketers even when you think that you are just surfing the web. 

Customer Data Harvesting: Protecting Yourself from The Growing  Privacy Menace

Customer Data Mining Tactics 

Every day, we go on the internet to do a lot of things. Among these is updating our timelines on social media, checking our accounts, and browsing the web generally. Some users can also decide to buy certain items or just research them. 

Everything that you are doing this way generates data. This is so much that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were generated daily in 2018. That is surely a huge number, no matter how you look at it. 

This data can sometimes be used wholly or in part. In the case of big data, marketers take all the data streams to identify the patterns and trends that they want. This could be information on where you shop, what you like to look at, how much you earn, where you live, etc. 

Of course, the argument is that this data is used to better the consumer experience. While that may be true, the dangers of such data collection techniques make it something that we have to discuss. 

Dangers of Consumer Data Mining 

Of the many dangers that consumer data mining, here are some of the most serious ones: 

1. Wrong Usage 

It is no news that big companies suffer data breaches from time to time. It is even shocking to know that not all of these breaches make the news. After all, we know about the story of Uber who had almost gone through with hiding the fact that 57 million accounts of riders and drivers had been compromised.

This tells us that the data being collected can fall into the wrong hands at any time. This is data that contains such information as date of birth, credit card details, home address, and more. 

A lot of nefarious things that could be done with that alone. 

2. Stereotyping 

When marketers get consumer data, they are going to identify purchasing trends and patterns. From this information, they believe it is easy to know what kinds of products you will be interested in – as opposed to others. 

Thus, you suddenly start seeking the ads for the products that they feel you will love the most. 

This is not so ideal because such techniques will pigeonhole you from seeing other offers. 

Now, you will only see the products and services that the ad company wants – not all that you can see. 

3. Privacy Concerns 

Let’s leave the other points above for a moment. 

Privacy alone is a good reason to kick against illegal collection and mining of consumer data. Sometimes, this is deemed legal – since the said brand might have spelt it out in their terms and conditions page. However, that doesn’t make it right and they should not have to get away with such practices. 

One of the three largest credit bureaus in the US, Experian, has claimed that there will be increasing incidents of identity thefts in the coming years. Hackers are now focusing on cloud, gaming communities, and wireless carriers – which are all avenues where they can get collected data. 

Fighting the Cause 

We always recommend reading the privacy and data collection policy of any online service that you are using. This informs you about what kind of data they can legally collect about you. Likewise, read up on the cookie policy of websites to know what they are tracking. 

Sometimes, you can be a victim of corporate data collection when you connect to public/ free Wi-Fi networks. The same is true when you’re simply browsing the web using unencrypted networks. 

You can get rid of such problems when you download a VPN for your devices. This kind of software will help encrypt your network at all times. 

Finally, never grant a service unnecessary permission on your device. That is how most of them access other parts of your device/ account to mine data anyways.

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I'm a passionate Blogger. I spend most of my time on the internet, Researching, Reading and Blogging || i Love Hip Hop and RnB E.T.C || Always Share.|| ****Blog Mall Nigeria****
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