The Internet can be a generic place to view content for people who do not wish to share personal information or give up any details about themselves.
While in practice this is a good theory, there are times when volunteering some personal information helps to craft a better Internet experience for yourself and for the sites you view.
While you access the web through your Internet Service Provider, often paying a flat fee for content each month, what you see on the periphery is often tailored to where you view. You may see sports-themed ads if you have been to a sports website. Frequent a lot of travel sites? Chances are an ad for a hotel-reservation site may pop up.
How do people know what and where you frequent on the Internet? The answer comes from companies that specialize in tracking the browsing habits of those on computers. Companies like Phorm, which specialize in advertising software that caters to the habits of Internet viewers, come to mind. Phorm global technology has been around in some variation since the first decade of the Internet, and the industry of specialized advertising has really exploded in the past few years.
The technology works because it can only be activated by you, the consumer. By providing your personal information, you do what is called opt-in service. Personal and relevant information provided to the company enables it to track where you visit online. Read a lot about football? Expect to see football-themed ads. Are you a gourmet cook? You may see plenty of food advertising on sites you visit. Fashion aficionados may see ads for department stores or clothing lines.
With this randomized form of computer technology, companies do not know the identities of the person they track, eliminating the chance for malicious mischief to occur. Information is never shared with third parties. This is a key factor. Why would a company want to share this information with a third party when they are the ones collecting data themselves?
Safe ways to gather content and view ads relevant to your online experience are an integral part of web safety. Ads may be a nuisance to some but are vital for the overall health of the digital market. By opting in safely, the consumer can be tempted to click on ads for companies rather than be subject to irrelevant products.