Why Don’t Internet Scam Artists Create Advertising Companies?

Why Don’t Internet Scam Artists Create Advertising Companies?

I run an online advertising company and it’s really surprising to me how many people are adverse to advertising companies creating customized ads for consumers.

People are skeptical about the use of cookies and seeing personalized ads online. The media in turn, feeds on these fears and drums up a bunch of articles and stories that lead to changes like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 “Do Not Track” setting.

While I do agree that online privacy in general is a serious issue, I do have to wonder when people or organizations start to point the finger at our industry – online advertising.

I mean, let’s think about it for a second. If online advertising companies could track who you were specifically and invade your privacy, why wouldn’t the internet scam artists of the world go out and start a bunch of online advertising companies?

Why do these internet scammers go to all the trouble of setting up phishing scams and hacking computer sites when they could just start (or buy) an online advertising company and steal the information they need?

I’ll tell you why – because online advertising companies don’t collect or have access to information that could be used to steal things from you. The only way these criminals get access to your personal information is if you give it to them – plain and simple.

That’s why they send out emails trying to get you to send your name and address and banking information. That’s why they hack financial websites.

Online advertising companies don’t have access to your banking information, or even your name. And to be honest, we don’t care what your name is. That information would do us no good.

We care about serving you the most relevant content and ads based on what it seems like you’re interested in. It would be a waste of our money and your time this Black Friday and Cyber Monday to show you a bunch of kids’ toys advertisements if you’re actually interested in women’s shoes, and vice versa.

Being an online advertiser is akin to sitting on the side of the freeway and watching cars drive by.

You can’t see who is in the cars specifically, but you can begin to figure out traffic patterns and make guesses based on your general observations.

We work to try and understand patterns in people as a group so that we can tailor advertising to best suit groups of people.

Again, advertising does absolutely no good if it doesn’t relate to you personally. You’ll just ignore the ad, or worse, become annoyed. This helps no one.

The whole situation can be summarized pretty easily:

  • We (online advertising companies) care about showing you relevant ads and accomplish this by trying to understand what you’re interested in online. We really couldn’t care less about who you are personally or all of your life’s intimate details.
  • Online scammers care about you as a person, all of the details: your name, address, bank account information, emails, etc. They care about this because they want to invade your privacy and steal from you.

The Takeaway?

If stealing your identity or invading people’s privacy was as easy as starting an online advertising company, the internet scammers of the world would give up their intense phishing ploys and labor intensive hacking attempts and start advertising companies. But they don’t, because that’s not how it works.

by Mark Douglas, CEO