In the information age everyone seems to want to be paid through the use of advertising. Or they want to be paid through the use of an up sell. An up sell is when you offer one product for free or a lower price in the hopes that the person will buy something else more expensive later on down the line. At least this is the case when it comes to the internet. Yes, there are still lots of people who sell normal goods and services on the internet as their main business model but for the most part the method we talked about earlier in the article is the way that most go. You can argue whether it is a good business model or not but it seems to work for a lot of people.
But if you are the end user, does this business model work for you? For the most part it does and you are able to benefit from the deal greatly. You can get the information that you need at a low price and the person you are getting the information from is able to get paid. But you have to remember that when websites offer advertising to their users, it is usually the users that are the product for the people buying the ads. You are the one that provides value to them on the website and there are some out there who will try to extract as much value as they can from the users of the site. That is why you need to be careful when you are on the web when it comes to advertising. While most of the advertising out there is fine, there are some advertisers who are willing to do bad things with your personal information to try and make money.
One way that you see this type of abuse happening is through the use of sign up deals that you see on the internet. I’m sure that you see this all of the time, “Sign up now and we will send you a free sample”. Or you will see, “Sign up now and we will send our free newsletter”. With a lot of these types of offers, all you are giving them is your email address and that is it. While an email address can also be abused, such as sending spam to it and malware laced emails, it is not as bad as giving your personal information. And that is what some of the offer forms try to do.
Some of the forms out there will offer you a service for free as long as you give them a bunch of personal information about yourself. And that is where the situation can get dangerous. Your information can be used against you in so many ways. And we are talking about both online and offline. This is the type of thing that leads to a lot of the identity theft cases that you hear about. When you are willing to give out information like that you have to be sure that you are able to trust the site that you are giving to. A lot of people will give out this information and not think twice about it. And that is where the problems begin.
So when you are giving out information about yourself online make sure that you are giving it to a website that you can trust. If you just out that information to everyone then you can be sure that someone down the line is going to use your personal information for bad purposes.
photo: D’oh Boy