Oftentimes when we start an online business we take the time to examine websites of our competitors or related businesses to give us ideas or a sense of the possibilities that exist in electronic communication and functionality. Sometimes we build prototypes – or scrape a website – by simply copying what exists on one site and putting the design on ours. Mostly though this is harmless and akin to the ‘latin text’ that you see in place of actual text on sites.
The scene changes quickly when someone with bad intentions wants to scrape a website to mine the inner workings of your site for illegal gain. To anyone who understands easily the ways and means of coding and the back-end of computing, you become a vulnerable target. People with rudimentary technical prowess can effectively scrape a website, steal your data in bulk and cause a major negative upheaval to your online trading and customer experience.