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You Get What You Pay For

I know it’s an old saying, “You get what you pay for” as well as my other favourite “Nothing is free”, but it seems to readily apply to the digital world.

Have you ever wondered how a company can write an app or put up a WEB site and yet charge you nothing for it?  You wonder “How do they make money to keep the product free?”  It’s a very simple answer – YOU are the product.

Advertisers pay to be able to know what you are looking for, what groups you join to know your interests, where you are located, how often you vist a particular business or what your birthday is.  This is crucial knowledge for “target marketing”.  It’s much more efficient than pushing random advertisements to your screen.

Now, think about who else may want this information?  Yes, CRIMINALS.  Sometimes they target you with a “free app” so they can get access to your postings on a social network.  What could be easier than to know where you are and where you’re going in order to set you up as a target?  Just post a picture of your new Maserati?  Hey, you must have money.  Time to build a dossier on you, but that will be easy because you’re likely posting everything they need to know about you on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. accounts.

So, the next time you think about joining a group or playing a game on a social network, make sure there is nothing posted to your account that you wouldn’t put on a buildboard on the major freeway in your city for all to see.

About the author: Darren Lenick is the owner of Magen Services Holdings, LLC located in Orlando, FL.  Before becoming a house flipper, he worked for over 25 years in the IT Industry.

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