In the Wild West of the late 1800s, everyone knew you must – always – be on the watch for ruffians and outlaws. Walking down the street of an old western town, there could be a bad guy around any corner.
Today’s Internet is like the Wild West. There are snake oil salesmen, gunslingers and horse thieves aplenty. If you’re going to ride the Wild Web, you better be prepared to run into more than a few bushwhackers.
So what’s my advice to keep you safe? The most important thing in my mind is to start with the proper attitude. I will explain my attitude.
The Internet is one of the most fantastic inventions of modern times. Being able to do all the things I can do with it and having access to so much information at my fingertips is unbelievable. At the same time I’m bummed every day when I have to sort through so much junk email. I wish the idiots who send out so much junk would put their energy into something productive for society.
If we accept that anything good like the Internet is always going to attract the dregs of society, what then should be our attitude? Here is mine….
- The Internet is an incredible tool. Being able to send a message to another part of the planet in an instant. Wow!
- I’m not going to let the malcontents, charlatans and bushwhackers ruin it for me.
We must all adopt the following practices.
- I’m not going to be naive, how about you? The Internet is like the Wild West. We haven’t figured out how to tame it yet. For those of you who think you can click on anything and that every email you get that looks legitimate is… you can’t and they are not. Deal with it! Don’t be a fool.
- Educate yourself on the different types of falsehoods and threats that exist. A good place to do that is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware
- When surfing the Web or going through your email, you need to be skeptical. I call it “healthy paranoia.” Be on the lookout or don’t be surprised if you get bushwhacked.
- Make sure your computer and mobile device is up to date with the latest security patches and that you have the proper protections installed (Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware.)
- If you think because you use a Mac you are immune, wake up and stop drinking the Kool-Aid. I will address this issue in a future post.
- Find a trustworthy computer person…someone you can call if you’re not sure about something. A quick phone call can often prevent an embarrassing, frustrating and sometimes costly fix.
As always, Earth Oasis Computers is at your service to help you navigate the Wild Web. With a little education and some healthy skepticism, you can safely partake in all that this New Frontier has to offer.