It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when I walk down the street and worry about being assaulted. There are predators all around us and they are always looking for their next victim. The internet can be just like a bad neighborhood. Each day, billions of people use the internet. People share personal information, businesses communicate, and data is shared worldwide. However, if the internet is going to continue to be a useful tool, we must learn to not fear it and to keep personal information secure.
Research from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows that Americans are more concerned about online crime, such as identity theft and data breaches, than ever before, and this fear is causing some people to limit their internet activity. Approximately 19 percent of households that use the internet report that they have been affected by internet crimes, such as identity theft, during the year previous to the research survey.
There Are a Range of Risks Out There
By far, the biggest concern for people was how to help prevent identity theft. Other concerns include data collection, credit card and bank fraud, tracking, and loss of personal data. Many people have serious concerns about their safety when using the internet, and about 45 percent of people surveyed admit that this fear has stopped them from using online banking, buying items, or even posting on a social network.
This research only hits some of the most important aspects of internet crime, but it certainly shows us that policymakers have to communicate better with the public about the dangers and the safety of using the internet. This is a great concern to many Americans, and if it is allowed to go on, might reduce the number of people who use the internet and change the behavior of those who continue to use it.
There have always been and always will be criminals in the physical and virtual worlds. We will always have risk. However, knowing that your home can be burglarized doesn’t keep you from living a normal life. Most people who are smart about home security will lock their doors, install security signage and a home security system.
A few weeks back me and my honey went to a Pearl Jam concert at Fenway Park. Great time. We went on my 87 Harley on a hot summer night. Because I’m a safety and security guy, we leathered up just in case the bike goes down. And when we arrived to the show we packed our gear inside my saddle bags because we didn’t want to carry everything into the show. And don’t you know some scumbag rifled through my saddle bags and stole my wife’s leather jacket. So do I never ride my bike? Do I never leave leathers in the bags again? I’ve placed valuable in those saddlebags probably every time I’ve ever rode and never had a problem. On this night, some criminal chose me. Life goes on. Crime happens regardless. But you still have to live your life.
Internet users who recognize risk will keep their devices updated with the latest versions of secure software, be aware of risky websites and phishing emails, and invest in protecting their identities. So while the Internet can be a dangerous place, it is generally “safe” as long as you implement smart and safe cyber security practices.