Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
Everyone knows a little bit about data brokers, but not how dangerous the practice of data collection can be. Personal information is coveted by hackers for identity fraud and theft. Governments gather this data in violation of privacy rights. The big business of information brokering has opened billions people to these dangers.
Data Brokering Dangers
Data brokers, or information resellers, are those companies that collect information about consumers to pass on to businesses and government agencies. They get the information from a variety of sources. Sometimes they get the data from the public domain. Sometimes they get into private records, without the consumers’ permission. They illicitly gather data that was previously compiled for other purposes. Consumers may allow their data to be stored by a certain company for a certain use. This doesn’t mean that consumers will give the same permission to anyone. These information solution providers don’t respect this.
Some information resellers provide consumer information to legitimate entities for legitimate purposes. For instance, a law firm or credit collection agency may request information for identity verification or need consumer credit reports for legal proceedings. Others are less scrupulous and sell the information on the Internet to anyone willing to buy. Some are just not being careful enough. Many data brokers take advantage of Internet tracking to collect large amounts of data with little effort. The best way of doing this is by using cookies. A cookie can send and collect data that it then sends back to its owner. It can pick up data from computer and browsing history that users would prefer not to disclose. Cookies can also be hijacked by hackers who intend to use that data to perpetrate identity fraud and financial theft. Data brokering is simply too dangerous these days.
The Federal Trade Commission has been sending out warnings to more than a few companies lately. They found that these companies were willing to sell consumer information without abiding by FCRA requirements. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that companies must make sure that requests for data are legitimate before they share consumer data. But the companies did not comply, putting the privacy of sensitive consumer report information at risk. These warnings help, but the survey done by the FTC shows that 20% of companies are non-compliant with data security regulations. It is obvious that people cannot trust that their personal data is secure in their hands. To stay safe, people need to take their own steps to secure sensitive information.
Open VPN for Data Security
One very popular way of securing personal data on the Internet is using a VPN services. The purpose of a VPN is to secure data and keep it private. VPNs encrypt data and traffic and send it through a private tunnel. This means that no one but the sender and receiver have access to it. The data can’t float away or be snatched from the data stream.
Of the VPN protocols available to individual users, Open VPN stands out. Open VPN is the most secure protocol to date. It uses a mix of the best tunneling and encryption protocols for a milti-layered approach to data security. Additional security measures are implemented by some VPN providers to increase users’ privacy and security.