The age of paper and print is finally fading away and it seems that the Internet is now setting the pace for global digitization. We trust it, we study in it, we shop in it, we relax in it, and apparently we go out with it too! But nowadays everyone is too busy surfing to question its vicious nature and since its pros far outweigh its cons, it’s not surprising at all. Even then, we can’t get past the fact that the internet is, in fact, destroying the world, so slowly that it’s almost transparent for us to see. So, without much fuss, let’s visit the eight most dangerous ways the Internet is being misused today.
one. identity theft
If you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you have an account on at least one social website. Basically, when you sign up for an online account, you have to submit your personal information for identification purposes. But what if the platform is fake? What if the platform only exists to collect data from people around the world for malicious reasons? The Internet offers spammers and hackers a good opportunity to collect personal information and use it to their advantage. Those images you post online could be posted on porn sites, you could be a victim of blackmail, extortion for money and the list goes on. And that’s not even the scary part. Besides the fact that you may be completely unaware of how your information is being misused online, it would take forever to follow up if you ever found out.
two. cyber bullying
The internet is filled with millions of fake profiles posing as valid users. The fact that everything is online makes it easy for callous Internet abusers to anonymously threaten other gullible users. Cyberbullying has been a major problem for many years and many victims ended up with psychological problems. Several cases of suicide have been reported, all due to the cyber threat. All the teasing, name-calling, threats, bullying, lies, and rumors – it never ends well.
There was a time when artists and media owners enjoyed the fruits of their hard work. So people got indecently ‘smarter’ and piracy became a pattern. Today, thanks to the Internet, people can brazenly copy and download copyrighted material online, without reflecting on the losses faced by the owner. Worse yet, black markets have now moved online and for just a few bucks, you can get your hands on just about anything. Contraband is the term today. And for some reason, the general population supports this form of ‘soft’ victimization. It’s like watching a mob snatch ice cream from a little kid and then join the mob to taste it, while the poor kid watches!
Pornography is one of the most despicable uses of the Internet today. Children are exposed to sexual thoughts too soon, thanks to the Internet, and God knows young minds are ready and willing to learn. Sure, being a strict parent might work, but the results aren’t always that rosy. Today, we see 13-year-olds updating statuses online about heartbreaks and breakups, and it’s all just too confusing. Young people cannot measure the purity of sex and what they see in pornography confuses them even more. Teen pregnancies, abortions, and emotional abuse are some of the results of this early exposure to the Internet.
Email spam is probably not new to you. You signed up for an account somewhere and now the emails keep coming and honestly they are really annoying. Spam emails are sent in bulk to many recipients at once, and the process is often automated. Such spam emails consume high network bandwidth and slow down the network. They are also used by hackers to inject malware into other computers. You’ll receive an attractive ad or file via email, and once you open it, boom! You naively invite a virus onto your hardware and your simple private life on the Internet will never be the same again.
6. To hack
Passwords are crucial when it comes to Internet use. Forgot to log out of your account when leaving the cyber cafe? Did you use an obvious password? Then you are to blame for the attack on your account. The uses of the Internet demand extreme vigilance. The moment you expose a weakness in your system, hackers are always ready to strike and believe me when I say they will surely get it back. Imagine walking into the bank one morning and finding all your accounts completely depleted. That’s as bad as the situation gets. And with the introduction of digital currency, hackers don’t even need to be thieves to siphon money from your account. They just need to access it online, through the Internet.
7. fake ads
People today, especially teenagers, are passionate about making money working online. Who wouldn’t want to earn in the comfort of their own home? The Internet makes it easy for advertisers to connect with potential workers and recruit them for jobs. But this is a perfect opportunity for fake advertisers to run scams and get the job done for free. Many online workers have had to deal with challenging clients and ended up losing a lot of money and time. In other cases, advertisers ask for bank account details and promise to transfer advance payments directly. Workers who innocently provide such sensitive information often end up being hacked and cybercriminals posing as advertisers always get away with it.
8. waste of time
The Internet is meant to save us time by making global information easily accessible from anywhere. But ironically, the Internet is the main reason people today are lazing around, doing nothing constructive at all. The theory that human beings are easy to manipulate applies strongly here. You are browsing the Internet in search of urgent and important information. Then all of a sudden, an attractive advertisement appears on your screen, probably an advertisement for an online game or even a shopping advertisement. Forgetting what you were doing, you naively click on the ad and inept browsing begins. Before you know it, two hours have passed and you have achieved absolutely nothing. And when you settle down to continue with your work, you can’t because the excitement is gone and now everything seems too boring. Sounds familiar?
The human being is to err, and if we are not perfect, then everything made by man, consequently, can never be perfect. But the trick is how we decide to use these inventions. Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the world and with the better communication that it has allowed, we can only hope for better things. However, we must be alert to all these initial problems that are slowly killing us, day by day. Refrain from visiting suspicious websites, keep your personal information private and your passwords safe, and above all, parents and guardians need to be more careful about what their children access on the Internet before we have a sexual catastrophe on our hands.