The Pitch for Paying Attention to Internet Safety

I’ve been busy this month giving webinars on cybercrime for my day job at Kaspersky.  Here’s a link to the latest one.  It is called “Top Cybercrime Threats 2012” and it also promised “10 tips to better internet security”.

But it could have been “Twenty Tips”.  Or even “Thirty”.  Because there are at least this many small things we could do to be more secure.  However, people don’t have infinite amounts of time to watch webinars, even if it’s about their own security.  So I’ll continue to work on slicing and dicing the information into small, consumable chunks for the non-security geeks in the world.

Here are two fun facts I want to share:

connected world

*  in the year 2000, there were 316 million people on the internet worldwide

*  in the year 2011, there were 2.3 billion

Stunning change in just a decade, isn’t it?  Never have so many people become connected and enabled so fast.  And with so much money continuing to fund this growth – high-tech as a whole, plus all the charities we support – it shows no sign of slowing down.  So how long will it be until 70% of the world is connected?


The ramifications of this are incredible, because we’re talking about a “hobby” which is not only big fun but it allows people to engage in three behaviors simultaneously  – socializing, purchasing and being educated  – each of which, on its own, has been responsible in huge shifts in human history.  It’s all quite exciting.

The only problem is that in every group of people who gain access, there are criminals.  And the more we buy over the internet, the more opportunity we provide existing cybercriminals to steal from us.  Can you think of anything more compelling to a criminal than a stream of billions of dollars which only takes a few keystrokes to get to?    (In the US alone, $165 billion was spent in 2010.)

One of the beauties of the whole thing is that even a computer illiterate can be “up and on” in just a few minutes.  So shouldn’t we also invest a little time learning how to use this fabulous and tool more safely?  Watch the webinar, download the free tips on this site, or google the topic.  But at least do something.  And get your family and friends involved.

All right, I’m off my soap-box and on to the next project.  In fact I’d love to hear any ideas you have for this.  How do we keep teens entertained while also teaching them about safer surfing?  It will have to: be video, be funny, and be on YouTube.  That’s as far as I have gotten so far…



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