Solutions for a Safer Online Experience
The simple fact is the Internet is a dangerous place, well, potentially dangerous. It is like the ocean. Dangerous creatures live there and although the ocean is vast and the odds of getting eaten are slim, it does happen and it could happen to you. Swimming at dawn or dusk, in estuaries and river mouths and when the water is murky are all known times when sharks feed. Most attacks on humans are simply exploratory bites, once the shark realizes its mistake it moves away. How else is it that so many bite victims manage to make it ashore?
Of course one bite is often all it takes and the victim is either left scarred and disabled for life or their life ends there in the water or on the beach. If it isn’t a shark it might be a marine stinger like a box jellyfish or Portuguese-man-o-war; sea snake, stingray, stonefish, rip tide or simply exhaustion. The ocean is not our natural habitat, it is a potentially hostile environment, just like outer space.
Well Cyber Space is just as alien and potentially just as hostile. While the chances of anything leaping out of one’s monitor and taking a bite are pretty slim, there are many other, very real risks you face when you interact with the Internet. There are sharks and other online predators that patrol the information superhighway looking for vulnerable web surfers they can devour.
Make no mistake, whenever you are online you are at risk. At risk of losing your cash, your job, your health, your relationships, your home, your self respect… everything. All of the above have been lost by someone, sometime and all through the simple act of going online. Unarmed and unaware of what can be waiting.
The online predator is far more switched on to the opportunities you present than you are. This is where they live and operate, it is their hunting ground and they choose the kill zone. They choose the victim (you) and the weapons and tactics. You are, all too often, fighting a rear guard action, reacting to what they do when they know what your options are and they have the next move already lined up. How can you even hope to escape let alone win