Every piece of information you or others post about you and every action you take online has commercial value to someone. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if it simply helps companies target your interests and preferences, but your information may be used in negative and sometimes criminal ways. For example, it might be used by
- Someone who wants to embarrass or bully you.
- Plagiarists who want to claim your content as their own.
- Criminal organizations or individuals building profiles of people to scam, steal identities from, hijack computers, find interesting homes to break into or cars to steal, target people to physically harm, and so on.
- Companies who want to use your information in ways that act against your interests. Consider these examples:
- Insurance companies may use information posted on blogs to deny coverage of medical claims, car accident claims, and so on.
- A potential employer may reject your job application based on information about you online. Or your current employer may find reasons to fire you.