If you run a website, then there is no doubt that you are acutely aware of how much effort it takes to create and maintain. The information you have put together and presented to the world is a representation of your time, your sweat and, more than likely, your tears. Everything on your website is yours, and no one else has a right to use it without your specific consent. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way about your website as you do. So many people want to take advantage of you and your hard work by blatantly stealing information directly from your website with scraping tools.
When someone uses a software application to steal information from your website, the process is known as web scraping, and the tools used are called web scrapers. Web scraping is an example of turning a beneficial process into something dishonest. The underlying technology used by most scraping tools is the same that is used by search engines to catalog and identify websites: web indexing. Web indexing uses small programs called bots or spiders to scour the Internet for information and bring it to a database for cataloging. In the case of web scrapers, the information is not used for the simple benefit of web searching. Instead, it is used maliciously or out of sheer laziness in order to turn a quick profit.
One of the worst parts about scraping tools is that they are so simple to use. The best scraping software fully automates the process of stealing the information on your website without you ever knowing about it. Many of these tools also come with detailed instructions and tutorials to make the process even more efficient. Some of this software is bought and distributed through either CDs or downloads, but some applications are also available for anyone to use directly from the World Wide Web. All someone has to do is pay a small fee, and he or she can start harvesting your data in no time.
The types of data that can be stolen with scraping tools are virtually unlimited. The tools can be used to steal customer information, marketing data, private research and competitor information. Once this information isgathered, it is often turned directly against the websites where it originated by being used to create competitive business platforms.
Scraping Tools Available Today
The following are the most popular scraping tools that competitors may be using to steal your information at this very moment:
- Visual Web Ripper
- Happy Harvester
- Helium Scraper
- iMacros by iOpus
- Data Toolbar
The post Top 10 Scraping Tools Hackers Use to Steal Your Content appeared first on Distil Networks.
About the Author
Courtney Brady is the Director of Marketing at Distil Networks. She comes to Distil Networks from a variety of start-up companies, routed in SaaS and DaaS solutions. Formerly the global communications manager at multiple companies, Courtney is responsible for developing the company’s marketing strategy and branding campaign.Follow on Twitter More Content by Courtney Brady