Data Mining: what is it and how do you protect yourself? - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Data Mining: what is it and how do you protect yourself?

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Have you ever researched anything on the web and within days saw an add for that exact same product on your social media? That is data mining.

Everyone uses social media and the internet so it seems that it's hard to get away from constantly sharing personal information. 

So, what exactly is data mining? According to Merriam-Webster, it's the practice of searching through large amounts of computerized data to find useful patterns or trends. In more simpler terms of what that means for you, Dr. David Abarca, CISSP and Del Mar College professor says, "every application that you use, has the potential to collect information about you, the information off your computer and share that information."

Savana Downs, a nursing student, said that she uses the internet for everything. If you ever need to research anything, it's common to just use google. Downs says for recommendations like clothes and food, she doesn't find it offensive, but when it comes to the personal information that can be shared, then it's not right. "If I was researching a certain health condition that I personally have and then I got on Facebook and then I saw a prescription drug like a prescription for it on my Facebook, that's completely not okay because their trying to sell you their advertisement knowing that you have that certain condition," says Downs.

When KRIS 6 asked how to protect yourself from data mining, Dr. Abarca had an interesting answer. "There's no way to protect yourself, first and foremost. Because if you're going to use any of these apps, you are going to have to download the app and agree to the terms and conditions for use of the app."

Reading on your phone? It's better with the app. Download the KRIS 6 News Mobile App for iOS/iPhone here and for Android here.

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