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Like just about everyone else that posted, my main fear is for my personal information and having that be stolen in order for someone else to purchase things and use my information for their gain. We become so quickly and deeply dependent on this stuff in order to carry on our daily lives that we don't think twice until something horrible happens.
The second is what would happen in the event of a massive crash of the system. I was in an area of PA that has a large Amish population recently and I thought with some jealousy that their communities would be largely unaffected because they haven't made themselves so dependent on technology to get by. This is another thing to consider that I think most people have given zero thought to. What would I do if cell phones go down? If I am paying all my bills online, what would happen if the internet had a real serious attack on it and was not working properly for a month?
I think these are questions that won't get answered until they happen and that will be far too late.
I think that a major concern I would have is how consumers can be properly educated to be more vigilant of threats on the internet. This is something that will become more of a pressing concern over time, if it is not already. The increased dependence on the internet requires all of us to be more vigilant, more savvy about technology- based criminal activity, and be much more stringent on how we can ensure that the responsibilities of safe and productive use of technology are all being met. While knowledge is increasing, there are still many people who are not conducting themselves in a safe and vigilant manner about their use of the internet. I would say broadening this education process is one concern I have.
So much of my personal information is online in the form of my bank accounts, my credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. that it is virtually inevitable that such information will be stolen at some point. There's just no way to safeguard it all. On top of this, everything I type online, from emails to IM's to this post, it becomes permanently available for public consumption, and vulnerable to hackers.
By choosing to post online and to do business online, I am volunteering to be vulnerable to some degree. The public should probably be made more aware of these risks.
The security of both my personal information and my person is my primary concern with regard to the Internet. The easy exchange of information, especially the use of credit cards for purchases, means that we are constantly allowing our personal financial information to be shared over an easily "hackable" network. All it takes is for the right criminal to get hold of your personal data and identity theft occurs. Even without stealing an entire identity, thieves can use credit card numbers obtained illicitly on line to purchase goods and services.
Aside from the financial concerns the ease of information sharing presents, there is also the danger that is posed by people easily being able to fond out other information such as home address and place of employment. This lends to a trend toward an almost "stalker -friendly" environment. There are definitely people from my past that I do not really want to be in contact with anymore. I also don't want a random individual to become so focused on me that he or she decides to seek me out. The Internet does allow us to make connections with new people, but it also can allow those individuals who have a less than noble purpose ease of access to your information and your person.
One of the major concerns that I have regarding the internet is harassment or cyber-bullying. An example of harassment is when someone makes derogatory remarks or comments about another person. A girl in her teens recently committed suicide because some other girls at school posted hurtful comments about her on a popular social networking website. I think there needs to be rules and consequences regarding this type of behavior. I know there have been schools who forbid their students from having accounts with these types of sites.
Another issue I see with computer and internet use is safety in regards to sexual predators. There are people who use the internet as a way to find underage males and females to engage in illegal activity with. This is very dangerous.
I have recently had two attempts made against my own accounts while dealing with various Internet sites. On one occasion, I attempted to purchase an item from what appeared to be a legitimate site. I made the purchase using payment via my PayPal account. After about a week, when nothing appeared in the mail, I began to have second thoughts. After reviewing the site a second time, I realized that it offered no business address or phone number. My emails went unreturned. I voided the purchase, and luckily PayPal refunded my money after the web site also failed to answer their emails.
A second recent problem came when I stupidly allowed my security account to lapse for a few days. I immediately picked up several viruses and unwanted spyware which compromised my credit card. I was forced to cancel the credit card and change all of my passwords. On another occasion several years ago, a bogus payment receipt bearing what appeared to be proper eBay authentication appeared, and I foolishly responded with payment, using my credit card. Within hours I was contacted by the credit card company; someone was trying to make a $1200 purchase at an out-of-state Wal-Mart with my card number. Luckily, that purchase was also invalidated. On yet another occasion, someone hacked into my eBay account and attempted to sell items without my knowledge.
So, the personal identity theft issue is my biggest worry with computer crime.
My major concern with computer crime is the theft of personal information of the sort that can lead to identity theft.
I buy a fair amount of stuff over the internet and so I worry about the security of my credit card numbers.
I also worry about various places that have my information and their security. For example, the place I got my teaching certificate was stupid enough to use social security numbers as student ID. Their computers got hacked and people's SSNs were stolen. Nothing happened to me, but that's the kind of thing I worry about most.
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