The Cybergenica Blog

Are You a Victim of Bandwidth Bandits?

cyber-thievesDid you know that every time you surf the web or run an App, your phone or computer is sending & receiving “data” from your phone service provider or your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The amount of “data” you use when you surf the web, watch videos or run Apps is also known as bandwidth.

The bandwidth contains text, images, graphics, videos, etc. that are located on computer servers that use internet connections to push the files along the network at various speeds back to your device (download).

In plain English, Bandwidth is the data that’s moved through a bunch of wires or fibers connecting servers to a network. Depending on the grade of the wire and the quality of the network devices, bandwidth is determined by how much data is coming across the network. When someone attempts to get more data than can be handled by the network, the whole network slows down.

ISP’s can put a limitation on bandwidth at certain times during peak periods or charge you a flat fee per month for bandwidth usage. If you go over the limit, then they charge you extra for using extra bandwidth. Some ISP’s will even shut down the transmissions until traffic is more stable on the network.

Most files (images, sound files, videos and other programs) are typically loaded from the owner’s web site. This excludes, of course, banners and pop ups and specific documents and images which are supposed to be loaded from a central server.

Bandwidth bandits link to images and other files directly to the owner’s site and hosting account instead of putting them on their local server. There are various reasons as to why they do this but one reason is to exploit other’s people’s bandwidth to show images and files, often without consent. So they “steal” images or audio files each time the site is initialized meaning that they steal bandwidth.

There’s various ways to stop bandits from stealing your bandwidth. First, using your server logs, find out who is stealing your bandwidth by serving your images or files on their site without your consent. Next, once you’ve flagged the thieves, if you are able to find their email address, contact them personally or use Network Solutions to run a “Whois” lookup which will give you information on the person and who the site is registered to. You can always get in touch with the company that hosts their site too and describe the incident to have the thieves warned, and possibly shut down.

The bottom line is, bandwidth can be expensive and the last thing that you want is someone stealing it from you.

Curious to find out if someone is stealing your bandwidth? Inquire within. #TGBATG

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