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How To Protect Yourself From Customer Data Harvesting

iPhone in hand

We rely on the internet to complete both personal and work-related tasks. One of the advantages of this tech innovation is that it brings us unrivaled convenience. We can work, access payments, order items, make purchases, and complete other activities online. On the flip side, however, internet use exposes our data privacy to vulnerabilities.
Data harvesting is one of the main vulnerabilities. In this post, we have put together important insights relating to data harvesting. We will tell you what it is and how it happens. You will also learn important tips that can help you to stay safe from data harvesting.

What is data harvesting?

As suggested in the name harvesting, this is a process where a bot is used to automatically extract and collect huge amounts of data from various websites and with the intent to use it for other aims. The data harvesting scripts are in most cases used to collect data without the customer’s, consent. So yes, these malicious bots may be harvesting your information without your knowledge or approval.

The privacy of your texts, email contact lists, and other data may be extracted and used maliciously. Some data harvesting scripts are designed to attack databases. As such, when they find their way into a database network, they download all the information in the system. This results in data breaches, data loss, and other privacy invasion consequences. So, how do you protect yourself from becoming a victim of malicious data harvesters?

5 tips to protect yourself from customer data harvesting

Conceal your personal information

Always configure your web browsers settings before using it to access any content on the internet. This will prevent the possibility of ‘accidentally’ sharing your personal information thanks to the default or existing settings in the web browser. Check the setup page to unchecked all the options that expose your personal information. The browser settings should not reveal your name, email address, or any other private information.

Secure your data with a VPN

In addition to adjusting the default browser settings, you can also use a VPN to secure your data. VPNs offer an ultimate way to protect your identity online and an added layer of security to your personal information. By installing a VPN on your device, you are assured of data encryption technology that masks your activities from all kinds of spies including your internet service provider. You can also use public Wi-Fi networks without having to worry about hackers and other malicious data harvesters that may be out to steal your information.

Install security programs

Security programs can help keep malicious scripts and software from stealing or harvesting data without your consent. Most of this software includes internet security suites like antivirus and is able to detect and block harmful spyware that may be run on your device secretly.

Avoid free applications and software

While they may be appealing especially when running on a tight budget, free software and application services are a no go zone. Despite offering a free service, most of these applications request access to sensitive information on your device. Unlike free services, paid services have clear privacy policies that are available for you to read before entering into an agreement. There are legal responsibilities and consequences. The danger in granting free services this access is that unknown to you, they may be trading it out to advertisers and other agencies. You should exercise extra caution when using free services including free VPNs.

Avoid phishing emails and malicious links

One of the ways in which malicious bots find their way into your device is through malicious links. These links can be sent to your email inbox in what seems like legit emails but from an unknown sender. Many a time, the emails promise great returns such as a lucrative job or even huge amounts of money. The links may also appear on your browser as pop-up windows. Be vigilant about phishing emails and avoid clicking on the links to prevent your personal information from being
obtained.

Guest Post by – Techwarn.com

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