Today I’ll be covering one of the most misunderstood topics in data security: data masking. This is where you take a bunch of numbers and make them look like something else. It can help you get away with a ton of sketchy activities, like stealing people’s credit card numbers or selling other peoples’ personal information.
How do you mask data? What do you mean? When it comes to data analytics, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is “What data does my audience actually need?” In this post, we’ll discuss how data masking works and why it’s an incredibly effective way to protect your company’s reputation. We’ll walk through a real-world example that shows how data masking can help your business. And by the end of this post, you’ll be able to identify when data masking could help your business and when it might hurt it. But first, let’s take a closer look at what exactly data masking is and how it works.
Many people have heard the term data masking but don’t fully understand what it means. Today, I will explain the basics of data masking and demonstrate its importance by applying it to some of the most popular social media platforms.
1. What Is Data Masking?
Data masking refers to a type of web analytics service that allows website owners to see all the data generated by a particular piece of software, without actually viewing that data. Instead, the data is stored separately from the source code of the site itself, meaning it can be accessed from any browser, even if the website owner isn’t using it themselves. It’s useful for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is the ability to track how visitors interact with a website in a way that can’t be traced back to individual visitors.
In the marketing world, there are a few different ways to use data to get more out of it. Data masking is one of them. Data masking is the process of using different sets of data from the same person (or group of people) to make it appear as if these people are acting on their own. This can be done through phone surveys, focus groups, or data mining.
2. How Data Masking Works in the Real World
This is an important concept to understand for marketers because data masking works in the real world. As you can see in the graphic, the data masking in the example only masks a portion of the original content, which means it’s still readable. But if someone were to zoom into the graphic and read the original copy, they would notice that the content is different. This way, you can have the best of both worlds: the original piece of content with a little bit of data masking to make it more readable for those who need it.
3. Why You Should Consider Data Masking
This is a topic you might want to think about if you’re selling a product or service that requires sensitive data. If you’re offering any kind of subscription model, for example, and are asking your customers to provide personal information, such as credit card numbers, you need to think carefully about how to protect this information. While it might seem like it’s a straightforward enough thing to do, it can be quite a bit more complicated than it seems. This is especially true when you’re working with customers who are already well-acquainted with the internet and other online services and are used to using them without being too concerned about privacy.
There are a lot of reasons to mask data. First, there’s an obvious security reason. If you’re a user of a website, it’s very easy to guess what data you enter into forms. You can easily see someone’s name and address in a contact form, or see how much they’ve spent on a particular product in a checkout form. All this information is sent in plain text, making it a potential target for hackers. So, websites like PayPal have been masking your payment information with “honey pots” or fake sites designed to collect credit card information so that they can block and protect you from fraudsters. This is called data masking.
4. 3 Common Pitfalls with Data Masking
Before you get too excited about your data, know that there are some things to be aware of. First, if you are masking data, you might want to keep your eyes out for these three common pitfalls:
- When you have a large set of data (in the case of a marketing campaign), the system might randomly pick data to mask.
- If you have a small set of data (in the case of a survey), the system might accidentally pick one of the most common values to mask.
- Even if you have a large and diverse set of data, you should still test the system to make sure that you’re getting the information you need.
5. How to Mask Data
In some cases, data is masked by the advertiser to make it seem like the product is popular and successful. This can fool potential customers into thinking that it’s the best choice for them, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Consumers want more than just a surface-level view of a product, and they often use third-party websites like KISSmetrics and Similar Web to uncover what the data is telling them.
Data masking is a way to change the data in a file to look like something else, making it less identifiable or recognizable. There are many different ways to mask data. For example, you can add spaces to the end of lines, making them all the same length, or you can replace numbers with zeroes, making them all the same number of digits. Data masking can be used to hide data from a program by making it look like it doesn’t exist at all.
- The first step is removing all identifying information from the data.
- This process often involves removing any identifying information from the data (names and other identifiers).
- The next step is to scrub the data (remove any suspicious or dangerous activity), then remove any non-actionable information (things like dates, times, and IP addresses).
In conclusion, The term “data masking” refers to the practice of disguising data so that it does not appear in any data search or analytics. Data masks are used when an organization has a strict confidentiality policy. They work by removing sensitive information (such as Social Security numbers) from the data being stored. Data masks do not alter the data in any way, but they allow you to perform statistical analysis on data without compromising the privacy of your customers. This blog explains how to use the tools and methods to help you make sense of your data and use it to help your business grow.
Read about how data masks work and the pros and cons of their use.