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Safety and Privacy in the Digital Age

Consumer's take on the situation

We are currently in the middle of a paradigm shift. With the imminent launch of 5G, ever-changing privacy laws, and an exponential increase in the number of internet users in India, the digital landscape has become a great opportunity for some, yet a place of looming danger for others.


Today, individuals have a plethora of choices for all their needs- entertainment, consuming news media, shopping essentials and luxuries, and education and upskilling, just to name a few. Consequently, marketers and advertisers all around the world are utilising this opportunity to crowd the digital space with advertisements of their products and services by buying up ad space in mobile or web applications.

These ads are then displayed in the web experience of those who hold the highest chance of converting into potential customers- a phenomenon called target advertising. Cybercriminals, on the other hand, have commenced exploiting these advertising techniques through frauds such as ad stacking, domain spoofing, and cookie stuffing among multitudinous others.


Using ever-more sophisticated spoofing techniques, bad actors gain access to individuals’ servers or use their own servers to disguise bots as real viewers, thereby cashing in on CPM and CPC pay-systems.


Such practices enable the cybercriminals to steal money from advertisers’ budget that was originally intended to drive sales.

The problem is not as simple as it sounds, however. As we try to innovate our techniques of catching bad actors, the bots too, become more sophisticated and human-like, making advertising all the more inefficient while exposing individuals to malware.


As a result, it has become imperative to think of tools and techniques that can be employed to empower stakeholders like marketers and individuals who face the incidence of cyber fraud first.


In our pursuit to empower these stakeholders to make better decisions, or to even be warier of the proliferation of cyber fraud, this report has been created as the first part of a two-part series. It presents the findings of a survey that was created to gauge insights on individuals’ interaction and current level of awareness of ad fraud.


Using a worm’s-eye view on these stakeholders, we will understand the right mechanisms that can be employed to prevents entities’ privacy from being breached.


For companies and brands, this report enables us to find discrepancies in companies’ assumptions and the actual expectations individuals hold from companies and how they handle their data. It focuses on how advertisers can drive the changes that ensure greater transparency in connection with media rebates/AVBs.

91% of respondents feel their data is being compromised online

98% of respondents receive phishing emails daily

47% of respondents don't know how to distinguish  between fake and real websites/applications

51% of respondents don't read terms and conditions before signing up

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