Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Good, The Bad, The Virtual…

This photo courtesy of The Second Life, an online virtual world of 1.8 million residents worldwide.

This summer I lectured about the new social engineering. A totally new phenomenon
brought on completely by the Internet. Nothing else has changed society, so greatly,
so globally and in such a short time. With today’s technology and a laptop you can be
at almost any point on the globe and get the Internet.

That said, it has also severely divided our world, in fact we ALL now live in two co-
existing worlds. One is Real and the other is Virtual. And the problem is we are drawn
a little deeper in to the virtual world a little more everyday. And where the two worlds
collide is not clear at all. Sony says “Live in your world. Play in ours.” But how much
fun is it really and what do we give up to have it.

Hackers for the most part have given up. Security and encryption have become so
good that they have switched to new devices like Phishing. We haven’t had a good
virus scare in almost a year. Because of this everything is moving online. Online
shopping is positioned to exceed mall or store shopping. If you stick a card in a gas
pump, you interact with this virtual world in some way. Business, banking, gaming,
gambling, dating ... whoa right there. Dating? Not only dating but just socializing in
general. E-mail, instant massaging, interactive games, online collaboration. At no
other point in history could our 14 year old hold a 20 minute chat with some kid in
China and never leave the bedroom.

The virtual is becoming a powerful force.
But ... the force has a dark side, young Skywalker. Have you noticed how deep we
are withdrawing into, and relying on this new virtual world? And, have you noticed that
for every good action there is a reaction that is just as or even more powerful?

For example, our seniors, (who by the way are the larger part of the computer market
right now),with a laptop and an Internet connection they can socialize, shop, order
medication, watch or be watched with web cams. It has become a way for them to
reach out and maintain their independence, a good thing. In exchange though,
everything we do, everything we buy, everywhere we go is tracked. Which came to
light during this past political campaign when “Micro- Marketing” broke the news.

There is a profile on every individual who swipes a card. This is a BAD thing.
This is the first of a few articles I decided to do about the duality of this new
wonder and what it may cost us in the end.

I would like to plug our great online computer repair company real quick. Are you ready for your online holiday shopping? Call us toll free, Computer Guys Live, 866-300-8181 or go online,
We have a $20.00 special to remove all the spyware from your machine. And our techs can do it remotely. Be safe, shop securely online!

by Chris Kaminski,
Head Tech and CEO of Computer Guys Live Inc.

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