Free internet advertising is probably one of, if not the most glaring manifestations of globalization to date. Just like how globalization opened up the doors for free trade between countries all over the world, free online advertising has allowed big corporations and small businesses to promote easily and freely across the globe. Free internet advertising does this by removing the physical and financial barriers that would have prevented companies from reaching the global market. Globalization and free online advertising have proven time and again that it is indeed a small world after all.
While free trade and free internet advertising have their share of advantages, it is undeniable that both also came with some negative ramifications, particularly on the issue of freedom and the rights of parties involved. In this article, we would focus on some of the biggest concerns regarding the negative implications of free online advertising.
Issues with free internet advertising
Free internet advertising and modern technology have given its users a virtually unlimited access to all information available on the web. People liked the idea that they can find whatever they are looking for by just clicking on a few buttons and getting results in as fast as a couple of milliseconds. Because of people’s busy lifestyle, they loved this convenient and fast way of obtaining information – until they realized that free internet advertising actually invades their personal privacy.
How does this happen? Free online advertising has a way of ensuring that the ads reach the right target market. They do this through behavioral targeting – which is basically collecting every Internet user’s demographic details and browsing behavior, and then matching the user’s profile with the appropriate or related adverts. This is why when you go online, you often see ads that are somehow connected to your interests or recent searches. As people realized that the trade-off for the freedom to access and exchanging information online is the invasion of their privacy, more and more users have expressed their distaste for this free internet advertising practice.
Free online advertising does not only compromise users’ privacy, it also poses a threat to their security. Because free online advertising reaches millions of Internet users worldwide, it has attracted cyber criminals whose goal is to spread malware that could seriously damage computer systems. These attackers have managed to mask those malicious apps as free internet advertising banners or pop-ups. They are also able to embed these malware in legitimate and trustworthy websites. As a result, an Internet user who is browsing various websites could unsuspectingly click on an infected advert or site. Unfortunately, we have yet to see a sound and effective measure that would completely prevent these cyber criminals from freely attacking internet users.
These issues are just a few of the numerous problems concerning free internet advertising. Although it does have its own merits, internet advertising actually comes at a price.