Threats of online Ads to your privacy
Annoying pop-ups and videos while browsing online? To add to that, online ads clutter your screen, drains your battery and install malware on your computer. There’s a reason why ad blocking software is developed for users. Not everyone wants to see this. Unfortunately, these softwares are not 100% foolproof. Some websites we visit can actually detect an adblocker and ask you disable it before giving you access. You also need to consider that your favorite sites need these ads to make extra revenue so that they won’t charge you more- like membership fee or for accessing their content.
Welcome to digital advertising, a billion dollar industry that will continue to rise on the coming years with the continuous growth of platforms and virtual reality shopping opportunities, which are goldmine for targeted advertising. Digital ads have always been effective with its ability to target consumers based on the stuff they click online. It uses the consumers’ data to suggest the right advertisements for you to see. And this is heavily dependent on tracking- from your browsers history or for clicking a certain ad and eventually making a purchase. These companies can figure out your behavior, interests and needs through an algorithm and show you products that you’ll most likely buy. #creepy
Privacy and security are going to be a separate issue altogether
In hindsight, the existence of online ads should be mutually beneficial for all users and website owners. Think about this. If you’ve recently done a search for a specific product online, you might have noticed some online ads on your social media feed or YouTube channel or email about that product or any other product related to it after that search. You might think “Oh, how convenient!”. But this is the magic of internet advertising. This data can be used by companies to tell which products are moving but also, what can they do to improve the customer experience? Promos, discounts and loyalty cards- all of these things are targeted to ensure satisfaction of customers, which are heavily relying on consumer data. But on the other side of the coin, if they can track your searches and get your data from purchase, what more can they do with that information and who has access to it?
This is the reason why experts are concerned about privacy and security and fight for a tighter security to protect the users. A certain consent should be given by users before allowing websites to use their information. This is presented to us by the terms and conditions which you agreed to upon availing a discount or product. But again, somewhere along those fineprint is a line that allows them to use your data and have your search history monitored.
This battle will be a long one. While the conversation continues and online ad revenues continues to grow, you can do simple actions on your own way to secure your privacy and information.
- Think before you click.
- Read the fine prints of services or companies you want to engage with.
- Get a reliable anti-virus to protect you from malwares.
- Buy a reliable VPN to increase your online security.
- Do not overshare information online.
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