The anonymous nature of most Internet transactions has served to embolden many a crook to try to put one over unsuspecting online users. Prospective victims on the other hand sometimes seem to pave the way for online irregularities when they trust too much against their better judgment. Dubious intentions usually reveal themselves with the obvious.
One of the most common irregularities over the Internet is when users are asked to confirm their personal data purportedly by a service provider or a business institution. The communication which typically comes through an email will appear like the genuine one complete with the logo and the expected tenor of a true-blue official letter. Since the message usually carries a certain sense of urgency, the person being asked about his or her personal information will most often than not provide it first and then think about it later.
This is where the provider of information commits the biggest mistake. Before he or she knows it, all established contacts will be harassed by spam emails supposedly coming from him or her. Since messages will show a known email address, contacts will most probably open the mail in the belief that it contains a valid message.
Here lies the story of thousands of pesky offers of sex enhancement drugs and devices as well as the sale of various products from food items to real estate properties. When the dubious messages are received by family and friends who can easily set them aside as the common hoax they are, the only real result is the inconvenience. It is not quite the same when the same emails are sent to business associates or business customers who might make the mistake of being offended at the expense of the business relationship without the supposed sender’s knowledge. Many companies would rather terminate relationships using general explanations instead of providing the details. In this case, the person who was tricked into providing his or her personal information is the greatest loser.
With the “Do Not Track” button being pushed to be a permanent component of the privacy bill of rights of consumers by the executive level, we are almost sure that threat to online privacy is at its highest yet. Almost every online presence seeks to fish out some information from others whether for business or personal use. Browsers do it, search engines do it, business sites do it, social sites do it, and just about everyone else who expects to benefit from having access to numerous personal data.
Although most people are generally more generous in sharing their personal information to others, it doesn’t mean that they don’t care for their privacy. In fact, people prefer to have control over what information is obtained, stored, and revealed about them. Knowing that any information is being collected without express approval from them is quite disturbing to most.
Many business and social sites do it without any intention of bringing harm to the owners of the information they possess. The collected information is generally used to anticipate purchasing moves of consumers and members. In essence, the main purpose is to be one step ahead of a trend or future use. Even then, being offered required products before consumers ask for it can be somewhat disconcerting. It is either the offering company reads minds or keeps personal customer information hidden somewhere.
The collector of information has the responsibility to ensure that they are not used for purposes other than for the purpose it was provided for. It is also incumbent upon them to safeguard this information from criminal elements. Most of those collecting personal data from consumers have no business retaining them indefinitely. Tracking online activities and retaining information obtained from these activities without sufficient reason violates privacy.
The advent and rise of the splogs has triggered a debate between bloggers, the online ads industry and the Fair Syndication Consortium that debates the situation whether ad companies should remunerate web sites that use stolen content. The opposing parties has people on both sides raising their own points, on the side of the bloggers content should be guarded and deemed as personal property, on the side of the consortium they say that they are fighting for the said right, getting these splog sites to get their claimed earnings from ads but steering some of the profits down the line to the bloggers who were responsible for the blog posts.
Very much a blurred line exists between the grounds by which they stand, and being sponsored by many big businesses and other major players the consortium is indeed raising a very real fact, splogs are here and there is no sure way to combat them or prevent them from plagiarizing content from other sites, kinda goes to the tune of “If you can;t beat them, Join them!”. The bloggers and several thousand writers are still trying to obtain ways of shutting down these splogging sites but as mentioned, there are ways by which you can indeed profit from these sites but the line is thin and you can end up losing more that you hope to gain. The debate is detailed in the following post from TechCrunch where more details are brought to light.
Splogs are blogs that use your content without permission, posts them onto their sites for profits without even giving you a mention or credit for what they’ve done. They do get away with it and in the process they earn in terms of traffic to their sites thus increasing their profits. Most experts suggest kicking back by adding a simple plugin called RSS Footer that comes from Ytoast.com which allows you to automatically add an extra line of content to your feed that automatically places a footer that say’s “Post From :” with a link to your blog along with your blog’s name. Splogs are simple copy/paste artists who leach traffic from your site to theirs thus getting traffic that should have been yours.
Social media has become too much a part of our daily lives that we simply cannot stay away from them. Blogging is one of the earliest manifestations of the social internet, like many other internet based innovations have been subjected to attacks than can be compared to junk email, spam and phishing scams. The splog is a blog post that is randomly sent to blogs, flooding your comments with incomprehensible entries that will result in overloading of your hosting service for the benefit of the people who make them. (more…)