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Why Your Company Needs to Use Cybersecure IP Geolocation APIs

All entrepreneurs typically have a single goal in mind — ensuring their company's success — and that means reaching and getting as many customers as possible. Nowadays, that translates to taking advantage of the data that GPS-enabled devices provides. Brick-and-mortar shops, for instance, rely on geolocation technology to determine where their customers are at the moment then send them offers they can avail of should they be nearby.

Practically any connected device user anywhere in the world can be tracked by marketers, salespersons, app developers, or anyone looking to start or enhance their business aided by geolocation APIs. The irony? Cybercrime, though an illegitimate way to turn a profit, is unfortunately a business.

An IP geolocation API gives any business the ability to track the physical location of any person using a connected device anywhere in the world to sell products or services to. Every time your customer uses a geolocation-aware app like any ride-sharing app, its API detects exactly where they are so the driver knows where to pick them up. Convenient? Sure. However, it's important to verify it is secure as well. In this post we'll take a look at the possible dangers for your business and how these can be tackled.

So What's the Risk?

When you use a geolocation-aware app, several controllers (your mobile service provider, wireless access points, and its developers) may have access to data that flows through it. The point is you don't know who is responsible for collecting and storing your personal data. You don't know how else your data is used, if it's shared with others, how long it's retained, and so on. And we all know that cybercriminals strive to steal personal data in any way because it's a lucrative source of income in underground marketplaces.

Any business that digitally stores and makes use of any kind of personal information, including geolocation data, runs the risk of attracting cybercriminals to hack their storage devices. We've already seen them pull off the biggest heist to date — the Yahoo! breach in 2013 — 2014 — that put 3 billion users at risk. Unfortunately, cyberthreats are only bound to improve. Amid stricter data privacy regulations that can add to the cost of becoming a cybercrime victim, companies should thus increasingly be on the lookout for solutions, including IP geolocation APIs, that will allow them to stay protected as they strive to succeed.

What Can You Do?

First off, keep security in mind when developing apps. To do that, you need to stay abreast of the latest security threats and adhere to applicable regulations, guidelines, and standards. You should safeguard user data as you would confidential company information. This means following the same processes and standards for all kinds of data, along with providing means for monitoring and reporting should issues, breaches, and exceptions arise. But if developing an app from scratch is too much work, here is a list of the best IP geolocation APIs that you can definitely build from. These APIs have been chosen based on four criteria — coverage, compatibility, reliability, and documentation.

Your geolocation-aware app should also receive regular updates and patches. It should restrict access to a need-to-know basis and be constantly monitored for unauthorized access. Using data anonymization techniques is also highly recommended, along with proper data classification. Every company should know where it stores data, who owns which type of information, and where it comes from. And to make sure your company doesn't get sued for data privacy violations, verify that your privacy policy states how you collect, store, and use customer information, and make sure you abide by what you say.

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Geo-targeted marketing won't die away anytime soon. Millions of marketers will continue to spend billions on geo-targeted advertising. And with the right IP geolocation API, your business can also reap the benefits that the technology provides.

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