Why You’re Not a Savvy Computer User! – Another View

typical-user-2.jpgCoauthored by Wendell Dryden

I’m often critical, on this Blog, of the typical computer user’s lessez faire attitude toward security, particularly on the Internet. 

For example, I recently wrote an article entitled “FaceBook – A Scam/Spam/Phishing Factory?”   which included  the following quote from an earlier article, “The Unsecured Internet Super Highway – Are You Licensed to Drive? – Get Up to Speed Here!

“Being involved in computer security, I am amazed at the lack of knowledge exhibited by typical computer users, and most importantly, the lack of knowledge concerning the need to secure their machines against the ever increasing risks, previously noted, on the Internet. I’m not talking about unintelligent people here. I am talking about people who are intelligent in every other aspect of life, but who view computers like cavemen who saw fire for the first time.” 

Wendell Dryden, http://wendell-communitylit.blogspot.com/ a fellow Blogger from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, whose quality and style of writing I admire, commented on the FaceBook article and it certainly gave me food for thought. 

Those of us who have a high level of knowledge in various aspects of technology, including computer security, often forget that issues surrounding technology are rarely as simple as they sometimes appear to us. 

Wendell raised some challenges for me in my thinking patterns surrounding the typical computer user and security. 

See what you think.

My perception is that most people still see the computer as a kind of entertainment device, with an attached cell-phone like feature.  Computers are for playing, chatting, watching short clips, listening to tunes…. 

If people don’t take internet security (or pc maintenance) seriously, it’s because they don’t think of the computer as a serious device. 

Some of this is related to our cultural laziness around safety and prevention.  People are routinely reckless with automobiles, decline to clean out the lint catch, and mishandle loaded guns. 

But, mostly, I think computers are thought of like television or boom boxes… fun while they work. 

My frustration is with government, health and educational institutions that push people to use the internet as though it were as secure and straight forward as a hard-line telephone.  I also think an extra burden of responsibility should be placed on any company or organization that promotes, and then facilitates, monetary transactions. 

In short, an outfit like FaceBook has no business asking – or even allowing a place for – things like street addresses, date of birth or credit card numbers on its hyper-connective site.  If people choose to post those things on their wall… well, that’s a different matter.  But otherwise, there ought to be a legal responsibility to not ask for certain kinds of private information. 

Idealistic, or what! 

I tend to think that Wendell has a good grasp of some of the real issues surrounding the lack of concern for computer security that a typical user exhibits. 

What’s your view?


Filed under FaceBook, Internet Safety, Living Life, Online Safety, Personal Perspective, Privacy, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools

2 responses to “Why You’re Not a Savvy Computer User! – Another View

  1. Bill, I’m simply atonished as how people don’t know about computer security; simple things like Windows updates and antivirus updates are just ignored. And how about opening e-mails without care? This may explain the abundance of malware and spam all over the web.

  2. A good percentage of my Support services revolve around damage done (to people’s computers) by malware: the classic line being, “my Internet has gotten REALLY slow..”

    When I look at their systems, I am usually rewarded by finding at least one P2P “sharing” app, links to free gambling sites, and a History full of online gaming (MMORPG) sites.. and there’s usually a 12 yr-old boy in the house.
    Often, they admit to having clicked on a link which promised to rid them of spyware. When asked, “where did this link come from?”, they reply “a window just popped open. It said I had spyware.”

    It gets depressing.