Manipulation is the key word when it comes to tricking online users to agreeing to something without them realizing, at least until it is too late. We have all been there, trying to access the page with the desired information and windows keep popping up. You just want them to go away. Unfortunately, in your haste you may have just clicked something that will leave you with regret for years to come. Financial Times brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “When manipulation is the digital business model.”

These little tricks actually have a name: dark patterns. They’re the subtle ploys many digital companies use to manipulate you into doing something, such as disclosing personal or financial details. These deceptive practices serve to boost revenue in a variety of ways, but the ultimate aim is to lock in more users. Being wise to the schemes and ploys are the best defense.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.