Let’s face it – “Your online presence is not secure!” Yes, before you wonder in awe about all those identities you have created on various online platforms here are some details about user privacy you should consider knowing.
The internet has made our life easy by enabling several types of services take shape in the form of social networks, classified sites, real estate portals, listing sites etc. All such sites provide information at the click of a button, unlike the contemporary way. Your information is safe with the website you signup, however, given the value it holds there is always a looming threat of that data being stolen by scrapers ( Shady people who send automated programs called bots to scrape data and make money ) .
So how is this user private data useful? In most cases, the data stolen is sold to other companies that may require data to build their subscriber base or promote their product. Does any of those unsolicited spam messages and emails about various products, offers and schemes cluttering your mobile device ring a bell? As you might have connected the dots by now, all that spam is because your phone number, email address, and other details were scraped from one site and sold to somebody anonymous.
This menace caused by scraping will not just stop with spam but in some cases could badly hurt you financially in the form of scams and schemes you might never have imagined.
One of the many famous internet scams is the Nigerian 419 scam involving a fraudster offering a share of large sum of money but requiring you to do a small upfront payment so he may obtain that large sum of money. If you do the payment, the fraudster disappears or will again try to trick with you some other related scheme.
Breach of website security exposes user private data to a lot of vulnerabilities. Emerging online businesses in India, in view of the underlying threats, have taken appropriate steps to enhance their website security and block bots sent by scrapers. Having said that, there still exist certain online businesses which ignorantly overlook scraping as something they have to live with, given the broad scheme of things the internet offers.
Web scraping for commercial purposes is illegal and online businesses can take advantage of a bot protection solution that helps them block bots and prevent all forms data theft. This will not only save their user private data and brand reputation but also instill a sense of trust and security in customers using their product/service.