Data Mining has been around since the start of the computer age. Data Mining is a phenomenon where useful information can be extracted from a bunch of data. From simply figuring out the season for the best sales of diapers from a grocery store’s operation, to more complicated stuff like prediction of stocks.

Data mining can be useful in many occasions. It can improve sales, create more opportunities for businesses and provide help to where it is needed and whoever needs it.




But…

Did you know that anything accessible from the internet can also be mined?

Websites can be mined for pictures, links and text.

This includes all your personal info from your social media accounts.

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This means that all your pictures, all your relations and all your preferences can be extracted by someone and used for their own purposes.




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By using a simple script hackers and other baddies can easily extract loads of information in a short amount of time.

This leads to a lot of despicable things including but not limited to:

  • Spam – The email addresses can be mined, this can be used by a certain someone to set up a mailing list where they can send spam mail as much as they would like.
  • Account Theft – including bank theft – this exploit leads to vulnerability for your personal accounts. Keyloggers can be secretly injected in your systems to quietly record keystrokes and steal passwords. This is particularly harmful when it comes to online bank accounts. A similar case had happened with a group dubbed Carbanak. You can check out the article here.
  • Botnets – Similarly your computing resources can be used like a puppet for evil deeds. You can read our article about Botnets here.
  • Scams – Having your information out in the open, scammers can use these as leverage to get close to you and make you believe things that they will tell you.

There are many other nasty things that can be done through data mining. The point is, many of the internet baddies start with Data Mining. They collect information as much as possible before starting their operations.

Spreading this information can help people become aware of the danger.

This calls for us to be aware and take precautionary measures against such things.

Don’t fret!

There are simple steps you can take to avoid being vulnerable through data mining. Just by changing some settings in your accounts you can take measures to avoid these scenarios.

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Check this article on how to change settings on your Facebook account to be more secured online.

This article about changing your twitter settings to become more protected.

With just a little bit of effort you can help make the internet a little safer.

Do you have any more ideas on how we can make ourselves safer from data mining? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Image Credits:

  • http://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/media/upload/tutorials/
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  • store.virginmedia.com/content/dam/eSales/responsivediscover/
    broadband/Broadband-security/dis-bb-sec-fs-inp3.gif
  • www.tibco.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Hackers-With-An-Agenda.jpg