Sunday, October 30, 2005

Web Threats Do Keep Users Away

According to Matt Hines, reporting a study by Consumer Reports WebWatch in eWeek on October 26, "U.S. Internet users are cutting back on the hours they spend online, shunning e-commerce and refusing to give out personal information as a result of the rising tide of Web-based crimes related to identity theft...As a result of those concerns, at least 30 percent of the 1,500 people interviewed for the survey said they have reduced the amount of time they access the Internet." See Web Threats Keep Users Away

And we are not surprised. We have predicted this for several years, and will go on predicting it until there is a major improvement in standards of conduct on the Internet. Of course, that is unlikely to happen unless there is an improvement in standards of conduct in society in general, which is unlikely to happen while so many public figures continue to act in such a shameless way (think Martha Stewart, Richard Scrushy, Bernie Ebbers, the Rigas, Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, sixteen Enron executives and counting). It's not just the crimes these people have committed, it's the way so many of them have tried to shrug off their misdeeds, or deflect punishment by professions of faith, or cheerfully gone on with their lives, with no apology to the millions of people whose lives they damaged.

Anyone who thinks this behaviour has no effect on the moral standards of today's children, who are the Internet miscreants of tomorrow, probably hasn't tried raising kids recently.


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