How Valuable Is Your Online Data?

value online data personal information protection data-mining

When we think about online security, we think in terms of protecting our data from nefarious hackers who want to use it for identity theft, as a way of figuring out what our passwords are, or any number of things that we might not have thought of yet. 

The internet has become a boon for cybercriminals – they can get access to a wide range of information with just a few clicks. With a little bit of digging, they can accumulate swathes of data about their target. 

Giving Away Your Data

The worst part? You’re the one supplying it to them. Every time you post on social media, complete an online quiz, etc. you fill in another piece of the puzzle. 

As you can see from the infographic below, the results were scary. And it’s true — there are a lot of criminals out there that would like to get their hands on your data. Cyber criminals managed to exploit the credit cards of 48% of Americans back in 2016. But they’re not the only ones that you need to worry about. There are also legitimate companies that track your online movements. 

Top Tech Companies Are Taking Your Data

They’re not out to steal and abuse your personal information, so you don’t have to worry about them opening a fake credit account, but you need to be aware of what they’re doing. They’re watching every step you make online to gather data about your shopping habits so that they know exactly what to sell to you in future and to improve their marketing campaigns. 

Retargeting Ads Aplenty

Let’s say, for example, that you head off to Amazon and look for art supplies. No big deal, right? You end up not buying anything and then decide to check your Facebook account. Quite coincidentally, you start seeing ads for art supplies on the sides of the page. 

Then you click out and decide to run a quick search on Google. Maybe you want to fact check a statement your friend made about the moon. Oddly enough, you’ll see more Amazon ads for art supplies. 

It seems like a lucky coincidence to you, but it’s actually a result of a careful information-gathering campaign that, while it seems a little shady, is actually perfectly legal. It’s a clever marketing ploy to get you to make that final purchase. 

To learn more about online safety issues, check out the infographic on online data value that follows. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how valuable your online data is and why it needs to be protected in a secure manner.

Interested in more articles about the value of business data?

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