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The increasing number of internet dangers are driving millions of Americans offline

By midian182
May 16, 2016
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  1. From toy companies to email servers to dating websites, the number of massive data leaks that have been reported in recent years is staggering. And if these breaches aren’t enough to worry people, there are always the looming threats of governments spying on their citizens, malware, cybercriminals, and so on.

    According to the results of a recent survey from the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Americans' concerns regarding online security and privacy have now reached such high levels that nearly half of the 41,000 households interviewed say they’ve scaled back their internet usage.

    The results showed that 45 percent of respondents said their fears over online safety had “stopped them from conducting financial transactions, buying goods or services, posting on social networks, or expressing opinions on controversial or political issues via the Internet."

    Additionally, 19 percent of Internet-using households - equating to 19 million American homes - reported being affected by some form of malicious online activity in the last year, which exacerbated their fears.

    "Privacy and security concerns deterred each of these important activities in millions of households, and this chill on discourse and economic activity was even more common among online households that either had experienced an online security breach or expressed two or more major concerns about privacy and security risks," wrote the NTIA.

    Out of all the potential online threats, identity theft was the one most people were concerned about (63 percent). Credit card and banking fraud were 45 percent of respondents’ biggest fears, 23 percent named online data collection, the same number said they were most afraid of losing control of their personal data, 18 percent feared Government data collection, and 13 percent said personal threats to their safety was the most worrying aspect of using the internet.

    The NTIA says this lack of trust is hampering the growth of the digital economy. After 2015 saw a record number of data breaches, the organization is calling on governments across the world to bring in policies that will restore their citizens’ confidence in the internet.

    Image credit: bluebay / shutterstock

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  2. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    So people are finally realising that the Internet Of Things is a bad idea?
     
    Reehahs, BSim500, stewi0001 and 3 others like this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,558   +2,900

    That will never happen, they are not going to cut off their own hand.
     
  4. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 401   +208

    Was only a matter of time of older, perhaps more thoughtful individuals.
    Unfortunately, Millennials are already absorbed.

    So mission accomplished !
     
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,512   +503

    Yeah don't make me laugh, I will anyhow lol. The only thing this proves is that people need to take IT security more seriously.

    It makes me cringe everytime someone posts their emails or phone numbers on online public forums or chats... yeah, it happens. Or people who swears "Mr. Smith" from Kenya is really a prince and that they will get their funds anytime now after the fat deposit they made... or that people who never played won the lottery... oh and don't let me get started when they check their "Bank of Amerika" accounts.... porn.exe and so on so forth...

    People are technologically illiterate, and click everything without even thinking. And then some old farts come laughing at "millennials"... yeah laughing out loud (In case you don't know the LoLz).
     
    DJMIKE25, SirChocula and hahahanoobs like this.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,560   +2,365

    The NTIA says this lack of trust is hampering the growth of the digital economy. After 2015 saw a record number of data breaches, the organization is calling on governments across the world to bring in policies that will restore their citizens’ confidence in the internet.

    In other words, the Internet needs more government oversight and regulation.

    How about, "no."
     
  7. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    No security is absolute, hence the problem of putting all your trust into a security system. An update that patches one flaw could create another, so on and so fourth. The very idea that we can trust that our information is safe anywhere connected online is ludicrous. Even the most powerful security firms in the world get hacked and have information leaked.
     
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,512   +503

    People need more education, not more restriction or governance... like... people I know that I won't divulge, use the same password as pin number, to home security code, to email password and so on.

    Sure but there are good practices to be made, so that WHEN (And not if) one system fails, it doesn't bring crumbling your whole security down.
     
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  9. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Booster Posts: 105   +27

    This is like saying going outside is dangerous. There has and will always be dangers. That's just part of life. Some can be controlled, some can't.
    The internet is the new wild west but you can survive there just like people did in real life. Just have to watch out for the dangers. Don't click on sites or emails you don't know, don't give info out unless it's a trusted source, stay away from religious sites and porn.
    Anti virus, where to begin lol. I would simply use the Microsoft one in combination with Malwarebytes. Some of the best out their. Why pay for something that should always be free. AVG, Avast, McAfee, Norton and a host of others, no reason to buy them. There's plenty out there for free if you don't like MS av. There's no perfect solution and NONE of these companies can completely stop everything.
     
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,558   +2,900

    Yeah the Internet does need more government oversight, but if they ever step in, it wouldn't be to our benefit. It would be to their benefit. So yes, I agree with you, keep them out as much as possible.
     
  11. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    I'm not surprised at all. This is one reason I could not understand the big push for the Cloud.
    People in general that I know don't have the knowledge that people on this site show, but I only know one family that would qualify as 'technologically illiterate'. The mom is mentally disabled and her 20 yr. old daughter literally cannot keep a computer in the house because in 3 months it is so messed up it doesn't work, and they need someone like me to tell them that a reformat/reinstall is the only solution which of course is of no help because in 3 months later it's in the same state. Even they would not believe in a Mr. Smith from Kenya or Bank of Amerika etc.
    The real problem (for the money makers) is the failure in online services. People don't want to sign up for 'beautiful people.com' or 'have an affair' or whatever when they hear of services hacked, hospitals ransomwared, even Snowden and now the Panama papers. Even social media, once it is out there, computers remember it FOREVER. Even deleted, someone, somewhere has a copy that can lose you your job etc.
    I don't know the solution, but it is not where we have been heading, nor is it in a little technical education.
    Stuff like this, terrorism fears, economy bad make me worry that we will elect 'the strong leader' who will promise to protect us from everything bad in the world and make it all safe, except of course, from them.
     
  12. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    the larger we make the system the more points of failure it has
     
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,558   +2,900

    That's exactly what has happened with all the Amendment's of the Constitution.
     
  14. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    well the problem with the Constitution isn't with the amendments, it's with lawyers destroying the justice system while the general public is too dumb to see that they're committing mass treason
     
  15. damnthereaper

    damnthereaper TS Enthusiast Posts: 38

    Like other people are saying, if the organization really cared they would be working on ways to help inform people on how to avoid "the pitfalls" of the internet. Or at least on how to mitigate potential damage. No security system is full-proof and definitely not fool-proof, but this should be basic knowledge for any digital citizen. I would like to see this incorporated more in computer classes in schools, it maybe harder to still older generations down the right path, but we can at least get our young ones a good start.
     
  16. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 401   +208

    Safe space threatened much ?
     
  17. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Guru Posts: 410   +88

    A document that shows the most common problems, that we as a group could share through social media and email, would be a nice start. Besides "no one is trying to give you free money", "don't give out any of your identifying information" and "don't click on that", what should be included in this?
     
  18. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,560   +2,365

    Word.
     
  19. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 858   +339

    People don't care about how technology works, they just want it to work. That's what companies tell them. Because of that they won't learn even the basics of it so they eventually get scammed, get a virus and so on. They want facebook to work without knowing how and what it does behind the scenes. I don't feel sorry for them it's what they chose. I would be glad of they left the internet.
     
  20. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Can't agree with the rest of your post but you really hit the nail on the head here. Companies are too quick to get things out the door or up and working to take in the cash and fix it later if at all. People/consumer are also in a rush
     
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    Maybe, "there simply aren't that many princes in Nigeria with access to email accounts"?
     
  22. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    Well the people that give out their information are the ones with $19 in their bank account while looking at their ATM cards
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    -
    So you are a Nigerian prince with an email account? How else would you know those things?

    "Dear Prince yRaz,
    I am so sorry I can't help you reclaim your kingdom. Things are tough all over, and I only have a few dollars of my own. Here's my bank account number so you can check it out for yourself". 5555-1234-2345-3456
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
    Tanstar likes this.
  24. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    It's okay, when I move to Amerika I'll open a bank and give you a large line of credit for your sympathies to my cause
     
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    OK, let me see a show of hands, how many of you thought this topic would turn out like this...? :oops:
     

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