My friend told me that he’s afraid of using the internet because of all the horror stories he heard about it. “Spam, scam, and hoaxes”, he said, “me mate got divorced because of that stuff. He set a profile on dating sites, went to sex chat rooms, just for fun, his wife found emails and pictures from girls, and his responses, to keep a long story short, the wife kept the house.”
Wait a second, and you blame the internet?
I don’t want sound patronising, but “taking responsibility for your actions” – does that ring a bell?
Next problem, the scams, everyone wants to take advantage of you, right?
Wrong. There are many honest people, great businesses and genuine offers out there. There’s a lot of crap, too, you just have to educate yourself first, and use some common sense. If you get sucked by a SPECIAL-one-day-only offer 90% and give a stranger your credit card number without even checking his reputation, you can only blame yourself.
Gullible or greedy, doesn’t matter, the result is the same – you lose money (and consider yourself lucky if money is the only thing you lost).
Remember that creating a professional website with an online shop takes only a couple of hours, and closing it down even less than that. As you use the internet more you’ll know what to look for to make sure that the seller is OK and you can trust them and what looks like red alarm.
There are many website, including government sites like ScamWatch (the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s site) or Online fraud and scams (the Australian Federal Police) where you can have a lot of information from internet banking fraud and email scams identity theft.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to learn how to use the internet correctly and how to protect yourself. If all you do is play dumb games, take What Kind of Sock are You tests or watch porn and have no time to learn about the net security – don’t blame the internet when shit hits the fan.
The internet is a wonderful tool, but just like with other tools you must how to use it safely to bet the benefits without hurting yourself or others.
If you don’t service your car, don’t clean your sewing machine and don’t replace your needles regularly, sooner or later you’ll have a problem.
If you don’t update your browsers or install your Windows updates, sooner or later you’ll end up with a malicious software (even if you are running anti-malware software), corrupted files and computer crashes.
As simple as that.
And the benefits of the internet?
The most important ones to me is all the knowledge I can find and share, and the instant communication with people. I still love writing, sending, and receiving real letters, with postage stamps on them, but emails have so many advantages, especially if it’s about an urgent matter.
I can learn anything I want, and many of those excellent tutorials and courses I found are free. I can share my expertise to help other people.
I can shop, pay my bills, or make money from home whenever I feel like that, even in the middle of the night. I can support organisations and causes I choose to support, use cloud computing to store and share my files, and connect my PC, tablet and mobile to access the files from any device.
Ah, and cat videos. Old comedies and silly cat videos, key ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.
Just like in real life, there’s the bad, the good, and the ugly in the virtual world. Stay away from the bad and the ugly, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of the good.
Another thought, and a quote I like
Call it the Law of Attraction or whatever – it works. If you see cheats and scams everywhere, that’s what you’ll attract. Change your focus, and it’ll change.
Just like that.