The Internet – Love it or Fear it?

Dear Mr Know It All,

Today I have a special question for you…

Do you remember life without the Internet? Sure you do, it wasn’t so long ago 🙂

Was it easier back then? Most likely not, but it was for sure much more secure. Now with all the knowledge and endless information streams just a click away I cannot even imagine going back to hard copy books, dictionaries, encyclopaedias etc…  That said, “back in the day” I didn’t have the worries and fears that I experience now.

Well whether you do or not, whether you prefer “back in the day” or embrace the new digital age have you considered this…

I work using the internet every day, same would say I am addicted to it and would not survive long without it, whether it be on my main PC, laptop or my Smartphone, I check it almost constantly – there is always something happening out there in the ether and I want to be a part of it, all of it! I have developed a low level worry that I will miss something but this is not the real problem… No, the real problem comes with security… security of my data, my personal information and most of all my precious pictures and documents I store on various devices which are connected to the Internet.

This is my biggest fear – losing my data. Who had that problem in the eighties?

Yes, I know that you can get anti-virus programs and yes I know that you can run additional scans but I know from my own experience that sometimes this just isn’t enough. In the last five years we have lost two HDD (Hard Disk Drives) to a Trojan. Ok, so we still have the discs full of data and we hope one day someone, somewhere will be able to recover it for us, but for this moment everything that is on them is lost for me… years of pictures, years of other stuff which I want back at some point! After the first HDD crash we bought an expensive, paid for legitimate anti-virus software and downloaded loads of other weird programs that only really make sense to technical people, which where supposed to help with protection… yes, it was good up to the point when something new attacked our PC. After the second HDD wipe, we did more or less the same with one big addition this time, we bought a huge external drive where we backed up our most important or valuable data. So far it is working but I think maybe cloud storage is the way to go… not sure, still doing my research on that matter.

But this is not the end of my online fears, as long as I believe I am doing all that is in my power to protect my own devices and make them as secure as possible in attempt to avoid any data lost, that fear subsides. Now what about the Internet itself…

What about something most of us use everyday like your email address. My main email address is very dear to me! Not only does it have all my contacts but also 1000s and 1000s of emails most with information which is very important, to me… ok, so there is a selection of jokes, funny pictures etc but I still want to keep them… Is our data stored in this way secured? I guess up to a point it is, but I remember a few years back there was a problem. My email crashed and with it everything that was there. There was no option of recovery… a so called unexpected error… no matter how many times I sent a begging email, there was only one reply coming back… we are very sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused… Again we can back it up, but no back up is 100% secure…

So this is my main fear related to the Internet.

I say main because there is much more I fear… I fear hacking and loosing access to my own various accounts, I fear hacking and having my bank accounts wiped clean, I fear identity theft, I fear accidently getting into site with inappropriate or prohibited content and being flagged somewhere by Big Brother, so I have a lot of latent fears every time I power up my computer but now there is no going back! One thing I can do is to learn how to protect myself and my data, ensure that all security protocols are in place and hope for the best.

So, to answer my own question: The Internet – Love it or Fear it?

The answer is: both.

I love it because it gives my freedom, it gives me access to the largest depository of knowledge ever assembled by mankind in all his history, it allows me to stay in touch with friends whom I otherwise wouldn’t have any contact with, it allows me to learn new things every day, it allows me to answer any question I can think of, within seconds and resolve debates about who is right and all this amounts to one thing it gives me power, but I do fear it and I try to my best to minimize the risk.

What do you think?

Are my fears reasonable?

Or am I being a drama queen?

So Mr Know It All: How do you feel about the Internet now – Love it or Fear it?

Yours sincerely

Aninter Netaddict

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This post is my entry into the Check and Secure challenge. For more advice on family safety online, see Mums on Security.

32 thoughts on “The Internet – Love it or Fear it?

  1. I completely agree, I love the internet for its ability to connect me to people, When I’m home alone late at night it was somewhere I could and take my mind off the night fears that crept in. But sometimes I wonder do we rely on it too much these days. x

  2. I really enjoyed the post. 🙂 It is really hard to imagine life without internet nowadays. I love it most of the time, but of course, there are some security issues that bothers me, as well.

  3. I mostly love the internet! I can get lost in it and there are so many things you can get with the simple click of a button. At the same time, though, it’s also what takes me away from things that might matter more. And yes, there are a lot of evil people lurking online :S

  4. i agree. the internet has change society so much both in a good and bad way.. i remember when there wasn’t much internet, and things seems much simpler then.. but I cant live without the internet too..

  5. I totally agree! Both! I love it .. can hardly spend my day without it! and I’m seriously afraid of losing my data and I have had bad experience in the mast so now I’m more careful 😀

  6. Internet is a blessing indeed but we’ve to admit that we’ve got no time for family anymore like ol’ high schools time. I sometimes can feel it strongly xx

  7. I gotta say that I love it…! 😀 Though, I do think that sometimes it can be scary to be able to find out symptoms and imagine one might have certain diseases. Best thing is to not google everything!!!
    giglove!

    novelstyleblog.com

  8. You have climbed into my mind and spoken something that has been on my mind for a while. I am both. Being a complete tech nerd, I am a full supporter of technology and all the amazing advancements we make, but at the same time our dependence on it can be scary. I’m slowly becoming very, very tired of the endless and recycled news stories. Viral posts and things we feel MUST be shared. I’m left wondering, do we really need to share every single thing?? That’s a strange thing to come from a blogger who’s entire existence online stems from doing just that… I know.

    Thank you for the thought provoking post! And do you remember the old card system for finding books at the library! Now that takes me back 🙂

  9. This was really interesting – Such a great topic to discuss and I bet everyone has a different opinion. I’m definitely worried about security and data as well.

    But I am my parent’s child so I’ll never forsake books! <3

    GIGLove

  10. well, same here. internet is a place to enjoy by not going too far yet it is a place to take care of our valuables (like emails, passwords and other informations). of course no.1 rule in the real world we can apply also in the internet world, do not trust strangers easily. =)

    – from gig
    http://www.swirlsandscribbles.com

  11. I do but I lived in a town and since moving I cant drag myself of it becasue I actually have no family, freinds around her, there is nothing in our remote village to do at all , I find my self attached to it to interact with the outside world , well it is cheaper than phone calls lol,

  12. I can’t do without the internet. I would die if I didn’t have that window in to other people’s lives called Facebook. I agree with Emma, I google instead of going to the GP. I’m probably saving the NHS a bit of money 😀 However, I also cannot do without books. There are so many things that are not on the internet, so much knowledge out there can only be gained from other people. I would rather have both.

  13. oh dear I have no idea what I would do without the internet – I use Google instead of going to the GP these days x I would never want to lose it ha

  14. I agree with you. We won a lot but we lost some things. Like to visit a library instead to ask Mr. google, or to talk with real salesperson instead to use the live-chat button :o)

      1. naaaah :o) I remember what we had to pay for a long distance call or what we had to do to contact people who are far away… :o) I think it’s ok as it is, we only have to find the happy medium :o)

I love all comments :-)