[Note: The following is a guest post written by Heather Johnson exclusively for this blog. If you too want to write a guest post, you are most welcome. Contact me at [email protected]]
In today’s scenario, is it possible to even think for a moment about life without the Internet? The web as we know it has evolved tremendously over the past 15 years to be used for purposes beyond sending email and its popularity has spread to every nook and corner of the globe. But has progress truly been made, especially in the way that it should have been?
Researchers across the world seem to believe a better and more secure form of networking is the need of the hour, an attitude that’s risen because of the mayhem the Internet has been known to cause. What with child pornography, spam, malicious software like viruses and worms, identity theft and every other con that the human mind is capable of dreaming up perpetrating the net and making it unsafe for children and unsuspecting adults, new technology research is being focused on creating a safer and more secure Internet.
Years after the inception of Arpanet and the birth of the Internet we know today, two projects that hope to build a new network sans the dangers of the current one are underway, GENI or Global Environment for Network Innovations being the brainchild of scientists in the United States and Future and Internet Research or FIRE initiated by the European Union. While both endeavors are still in their infancy, questions are already being raised about their effectiveness – will the huge sums of money being poured into these projects be justified? Will the new network retain all the advantages of the Internet as we know it even as it somehow finds a way to block all forms of malicious and illegal activities?
Even if such a network is conceived and given birth to, how long will it take for the conmen of the world to find alternative methods of scams and frauds? How long will the safety net cast by the researchers hold against the efforts of people determined to make a fast buck the wrong way?
If there is no foolproof way to safeguard this Internet and to manage it more effectively, what is the guarantee that the new network will hold out against the onslaught from men who are savvy enough to take advantage of the gullibility of ordinary folks? Let’s face it, the current crop of Internet issues are mostly related to people’s ignorance of safe surfing practices. They leave their networks open, they store passwords within easy reach of crooks, they do not protect their systems from malicious software and they are careless about the way they bank online. They open messages from strangers and click links that they should not trust, they provide information when asked because the email seems official, and they part with their personal information and credit card numbers at the drop of a hat.
The Internet will be a less profitable hunting ground for crooks if only people were more aware of the things that could go wrong and take appropriate security measures. Until then, there’s no doubt that no network is strong enough to hold fort against the attack that crooks will launch, especially when they know that folks are still gullible enough to be conned out of their money.
This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on dial up Internet service. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.