How Simply Browsing The Internet Gives Scammers An Advantage – And What You Can Do About It

October 20, 2023
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Data privacy has become one of the most talked about topics in 2023. According to recent statistics, the data brokering industry is now worth around $200 billion, with a CAGR growth rate of 5.6%, which could lead it to nearly $350 billion by 2026. 

One of the most interesting things about this debate, however, is the murkiness of data brokering waters. That is to say, people know that collecting data and selling it is bad, but they’re not sure how bad it is, because they don’t know exactly why it is being sold and how it will affect them. 

The Implications Of Data Collection

This can be seen in the cookie consent rate. According to recent data, there is a huge range in numbers when it comes to people who consent to cookies before entering websites – anything between 4% to 85% -- and the average consent rate is 31% overall. 

This is because it’s quick and easy to simply consent to your data being used and enter the website rather than read all the fine print. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? A company knows a little about your interests and information, so what?

Well, the reason data-protection companies like Incogni.com are becoming so popular is because of what can happen after your data is collected. 

This is not just about your information being utilised for target marketing; this is about the safety of you as an individual and – more specifically – your vulnerability to scams.

The Advantage For Scammers

In essence, data broker sites are a haven for scammers. When it comes to how scammers target victims, they use personal details, including name, gender, income levels, health conditions, religious beliefs, as well as names of acquaintances or relatives. All of these things can be gleaned by the work of data brokers.

In 2021, for instance, three data brokers, Epsilon LLC, Macromark Inc and KBM, were all charged with conspiracy to support scammers, having supplied lists of individuals who were elderly and specifically vulnerable. According to court documents, these brokers intentionally sold this data to scammers, who then used the information to run fraudulent schemes to take advantage of the individuals listed. 

As well as this, data broker information can easily find its way onto people-search sites, which give strangers the ability to access home addresses, contact details, family member details, and more. Remember, all of this is started by the simple act of browsing the internet.

In terms of the solution, however, it doesn’t have to be complicated. As mentioned earlier, companies like Incogni are becoming more and more popular due to their ability to let you opt out of data brokers, helping you to keep your information private without the risk of scammers, identity theft, or increased costs. 

It’s all about awareness. While the problem may not go away any time soon, it is a good thing that users are now able to do something about it and ensure their information remains safe within their own hands.

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4 months ago

Hello! I think its good idea to share!

7 months ago

Exercise caution when clicking on search results, especially for unfamiliar or suspicious websites.
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