The Power of the Web

The internet is probably considered one of the top life-changing inventions of the twentieth century.  It has impacted every facet of my life from how I communicate with people to how I make purchases. It is the ultimate timesaver because information is just a click-or two away.  It shapes so many of the daily decisions I make from where and what I eat to the things I want to do. I can make informed decisions because I have access to customer reviews, instructions, background information, etc. Thanks to the web, I have even managed to navigate entire cities in foreign countries without pulling out cumbersome maps and travel brochures from my fanny pack that scream “I’m a tourist…please rob me.”    It’s strange to think that not too long ago we somehow managed to go about our day to day activities without conducting a “google” search before we hired a plumber, went to a movie, took a vacation abroad or purchased a car. 

With all of the endless possibilities that the web offers, there are risks involved such as:

  • Bank fraud
  • Identity theft
  • People spreading malicious rumors on social media (that may cause friction in your love life).
  • Addiction
  • Exposure to sexual predators
  • Accessing false information

Check out this blog on identity and the internet for more information on risks of using the web.http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/09/19/identity-on-the-internet-the-pros-and-cons-of-anonymity/

There are a number of ways to minimize the risks involved when surfing the web:

  • Use anti-virus software
  • Have security settings on your computer
  • Be careful about opening up e-mail attachments from strangers that may contain viruses
  • Check for secure transaction info. when making purchases
  • Be careful of what you download to your smart phone
  • Be smart about how you use social media

The web is an unrestricted place where information can be posted by anyone-anywhere-anytime (this feature is what makes it so amazing)!  However, with the abundance of information at our fingertips, we must take precautionary measures to make sure that we evaluate the information by verifying that it comes from a reputable source. 

“Knowing where your information comes from is just as important as knowing where your food and water comes from.” – Dr. Linda Timmins

This influx of information can be difficult to manage as we use more tools to access and share information.  Stephen Mangat made several good recommendations in the recorded interviews about how to successfully manage social media so it doesn’t consume you (not a problem for me J).  I have found that I can definitely use his scheduling recommendations to increase my use of social media tools, by setting a time aside everyday to check class posts and contribute to various sites. Mangat also shared several tools to help folks using social media stay organized. HootSuite and Doodle (helpful at work) sound pretty interesting and I plan on utilizing those quite a bit.  For more information on additional social media management applications check out this site:  http://webtrends.about.com/od/pr6/tp/The-Top-10-Social-Media-Management-Applications.htm

Social Media Explained

 

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3 thoughts on “The Power of the Web

  1. I love the Dr. Timmins quote, it rings true in ALL fields in my opinion. In terms of making secure transactions online, I never purchase from a vendor without checking their security credentials and/or checking their BBB record on http://www.bbb.org. Also, I use PayPal as often as possible to encrypt my banking and credit card information so that it is secure. You’ve brought up a lot of great points, Elsey!

  2. Esley,

    Good points about the impact of the Internet. The travel one hit home for me this summer. I decided I wanted to spend some time in DC, but didn’t want to drive. So I hopped on the Internet, figured out the train schedule (MARC from Perryville, MD), then printed out the Metro map. I also Googled directions from Union Station to my first destination. No problems.

    As for the financial security, I remember reading many years ago that using a debit card for on-line purchases is not a good idea, because if the account number is taken and used, the money is removed almost instantaneously, which can then impact other transactions (checks bouncing, auto-pay not being able to be completed.) On-line shopping is convenient, but does have its pitfalls, too.

  3. You are so right! The world with the internet is a new chapter in history. It has good and bad aspects. It has “made the world smaller”. Not literally, but now you can have a conversation with someone next door or in Japan. It’s up to you. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what they do next.

    Do think we will ever go to a universal language or world money system? Food for thought.

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