Web scraping has proven to be a great tool for businesses to collect valuable data. By using web scrapers connected to data center proxies, companies can harvest large amounts of information from websites to help them analyze pricing strategies, market trends, consumer sentiment, and more. Now, the internet of things has a big impact as more smart devices are starting to collect data as well. Yes, that’s right, your smart fridge could be sending your personal data to other companies.
This article will look at how seemingly innocent devices collect data. We’ll also discuss the security threat this may hold and the steps you can take to protect your privacy without resorting to living off-grid. Keep reading to discover how the world of technology is starting to use more smart devices to collect your data.
How Is Data Collected?
In web scraping, specific tools are used to collect data from websites; however, this is not the only way to collect data. The internet of things can also collect your personal information. The internet of things encompasses all devices with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data. This includes most smart devices besides mobile phones. Many smart devices have been programmed to collect data, and although most have a good reason for doing so, such as making our lives easier, there is also an underlying security threat to be aware of.
Most of this data is collected because users have given consent somehow. Sometimes, permission is given knowingly. Other times users might not understand exactly what they’ve given access to and what this could mean. Users often know that something is being collected, but they don’t know what or how that information will be used, with the specifics being hidden in lengthy and complicated terms-of-service agreements.
Using a datacenter proxy can help alleviate the risks of data collection and may also give you a glimpse into what data is being collected. You can connect your network to a data center proxy and then use programs like AppCensus and Exodus; you can see exactly what is being collected.
Many devices can collect data; here are a few.
It has recently been noted that even drawing tablets collect data. These devices are connected to your PC and allow the user to paint, sketch and more directly on the device and receive a digital rendering on their computer. The biggest brand where this collecting of data was noted is the Wacom digital drawing tablet, although this is hardly the only drawing tablet that collects data. Users noticed that there was a lot of communication between the Wacom tablet and Google Analytics. This activity is unusual considering that a drawing tablet works similarly to a computer mouse. However, it soon became apparent that a lot of your data was being shared while the device was active. This included information about other programs and software on your computer that you opened while using the drawing tablet. The device even recorded the time spent on other programs, browsers, etc.
Smart Home Privacy
Home privacy devices have been very convenient in managing different aspects of your home. These devices can make a real difference in the home from automating the lights, playing music when requested, and more. However, these devices also have access to a lot of your data. Consider the Alexa Smart Home Privacy devices, they have microphones to pick up on voice commands, and some also have cameras to record who’s at the door. These are all lovely features to make life easier, but they can also cause complications. Your musical preferences are collected when you use these devices to play music through apps like Spotify. When you talk to your partner, children, family, or colleagues, these can also be recorded as the devices try to listen for those vocal commands.
Many other devices can do exactly the same thing. The smart fridge in your kitchen can collect data on your grocery shopping preferences, stores you like to visit, foods you enjoy, and more. Baby monitors can record conversations, and some even record video as well, giving a unique insight into your home. Home security systems can track when you’re home and when you aren’t. The internet of things has brought us great convenience, but also new risks to be aware of.
It stands to reason that these smart devices collect a lot of data, and this data is often stored in servers protected by a datacenter proxy and other security measures. However, hackers and cybercriminals have been known to bypass security measures by exploiting vulnerabilities, and then they’ll have access to all of this data.
Not only that, but cybercriminals may also be able to hack into the devices themselves and use the device to start collecting your data which they can use in a variety of malicious ways. For example, if you use a baby monitor that records video, this device can be hacked, and the video can end up in the hands of a cybercriminal. The same goes for other devices that record either video or audio.
If you are very concerned about your privacy, then the internet of things may not be the best option for you. However, these devices can make life easier and are convenient to use. So if you want to keep using them, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. You can keep your data safe by using data center proxies, data monitoring tools, and other security measures such as firewalls.