Internet Security? Who Really Gives A Damn!

imageI noticed this morning, that USA Today (TechnologyLive), had linked back to an article I wrote earlier this year on SlimWare Utilities ( tools designed to clean up, and maintain, computer systems).

At the risk of sounding ungrateful (which I’m not), I would have  much preferred that they had linked back to an article dealing with computer security. Allow me to draw an analogy to explain this – an article on “How to Upgrade Your Kitchen”, has limited value if crooks have just stolen the kitchen sink.

The reality is – we are immersed in a mess that has reached virtually unmanageable proportions. We are now at a full blown crisis stage vis a vis Internet security.

The tech speak, which this situation engenders, reminds me in a sense of the political rhetoric we are constantly exposed to – everyone has identified the real problem/no one has identified the real problem; everyone has a problem solution/no one has a solution, everyone seems to discuss it/no one truly discusses it. The end result? It appears as if no one seems to give a damn. So, we just keep on piling up the victims of cyber crime.

Finger pointing, and finger wagging, is the order of the day. It’s the developers fault; it’s the users’ fault; it’s the very nature of the backbone of  the Internet; it’s the lack of effective law enforcement; it’s the lack of truly effective security applications; Internet security is a business, so it’s unlikely anyone is going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg; …………… Round and round it goes.

I continue to shake my head in wonderment over the kafuffle caused by the BlackBerry conflict with Middle East countries requesting access to encrypted BlackBerry corporate email services.

The truth of the matter is – on a broad scale, the number of people affected is miniscule, as compared to the number of people impacted by cyber crime EVERY day.  Yet, this is one story that won’t go away – one that is constantly updated by mainstream media.

Criminal activity, on the other hand, that has substantial impact on consumers, business, and government (think Stuxnet), continues to get short shift. Talk about reality displacement!

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Filed under cybercrime, Interconnectivity, Opinion, Personal Perspective, Windows Tips and Tools

15 responses to “Internet Security? Who Really Gives A Damn!

  1. Mal

    Hi Bill,

    Yep, when we are getting around 50,000 new malware infections everyday, it’s now wonder security dudes can’t keep up. I guess it’s human nature to say “it’s not my fault” but the reality is EVERYONE has a part to play, from individuals, governments, corporations and so on. Individuals can only do so much, governments and corporations need to do more (e.g. start holding companies like Adobe to account for their pathetic useless products that are forever being patched, but are forced on individuals by major online services).

    Governments can start pulling their finger out and start making strong, enforceable laws to prosecute those who target individuals, not come up with some piece of crap like an internet firewall, information about how to bypass is already available.

    And individuals need to pull their finger out and start realizing, the internet is a fun place, but also dangerous, just like the real world. Get educated people, or you WILL get stung. Their are plenty of good, easy to understand programs out there that will keep you well protected.

    Then I woke up and realized none of the above will probably happen.


  2. Mal

    Funny you say that Bill, I’ve had a few ideas about an article. Never having done something like that before, I guess I’m a little nervous. Guess I should “pull my finger out” and just do it lol.

    BTW, our Supreme Leader (aka possibly our Prime Minister) has reaffirmed her commitment to the internet firewall. It’s like watching Days of our Lives sometimes, in other words pathetic.


    • Absolutely no need for worries, Mal. Many of your comments, fleshed out slightly, would have made a great article all by themselves.

      Give it a try when you’re ready – or as you say “pull the finger out”. LOL! I look forward to putting it up.

      Well, with your PM, it’s just one more example of the blind leading the blind. Ignorance, it seems, is infectious.



    • Mister Reiner

      Just go for it! Bill will help you polish it up so that it shines. 🙂

  3. Mister Reiner

    “It appears as if no one gives a damn.”

    It’s an unfortunate reality that I’m about ready to accept. There are days that I feel like those environmentalists that warn us about our growing garbage problem – or those guys that warn us about overfishing and dead coral. Given the one billion plus computer users on the planet, how many people know enough to even care or worry about security?

    You should take a break from all of this as I have and think about what you ultimately want to achieve from your efforts with this site. I’m sure you’ve positively influenced many people’s lives, but is the opportunity cost of what you could be doing with your time really worth it? Are your efforts speading the word – or are you just preaching to the choir? How can you double or quadruple the number of new visitors to your site and influence their behaviour at the same time? Perhaps you’re ready for a full blown Website instead of just blogging. How can you redo your site to have the biggest impact to the one time visitor?

    If you’re happy if at least one person changes their behaviour each week, then it really doesn’t matter if it appears that most people don’t give a damn, but if you want to change the world, you’re going to have to put your thinking cap on and come up with a new strategy.

    P.S. I’m doing well and having more fun than when I’m worrying about all of this security nonsense. 😉

    • Mr. Reiner,

      Really good to hear from you, and I’m glad that you’re doing well!

      You’ve raised some questions that I’m currently considering. I started this Blog really as an exercise in “possibilities”. Would it be possible to hit a million visitors in three years; could I generate at least one posting a day for three years; could I develop a reasonable readership base; would my interest even last three years? That sort of thing.

      I still have some time to go before the three years are up, and I’ve exceeded any pseudo objectives I set. But, I’ve been absolutely underwhelmed by the lack of any appreciable change in the attitude of the general public, as it relates to computer security, during that time. Instead of getting better, the situation has actually deteriorated despite the bullshit commentary to the contrary. So yeah, I’ve been wondering why I should bust my ass at 6 o’ clock every morning to produce copy that by and large, few people seem to care about, or are influenced by. I recognize, of course, that regular readers here, are superior users and according to Alexa “are disproportionately more educated users”. So, it may well be, that as you say – I’m “just preaching to the choir”.

      As a consequence of all this, and as you suggest, I’m left with a number of questions I need to answer:

      Should I, for example, accept any one of a number of offers I have received to write for a major website? I’ve done that previously, and I wasn’t particularly happy.

      Should I continue to write TT in it’s present form, or go “BIG”, as you mention?

      Or, should I just go back to being a regular nine to fiver?

      The answers are there – but, you’re right, I do need to put the “thinking cap on”. It is time for a change.



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  5. Bill,
    I sense your frustration and feel your pain. What I take from your dead-on article is that the sad state of Internet security is much more complex than any of us can imagine. In addition to the finger-pointing and shoulder shrugging that you point out, the Internet as a business is a pit of self interest and greed. It starts with the crooks who must be trillionaires by now…no surprise there. Next comes the legitimate businesses who take advantage of the openness of the net to bombard users with spam and, at times, worse; and then there is the IT security industry who is getting rich in this environment and may not be extremely motivated to fix the problems that will cause them to lose revenue.
    Keep up the good fight…we need you.

    • Hi Paul,

      Yes indeed. Each point that you cover is worth a discussion, all on its own.

      I didn’t intend to allow my frustration to show quite so much, but then again, perhaps it was more than an unintended slip.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is both provocative, and well considered.



  6. dar

    -ok, prof Bill, You are in the same boat as many,many other professionals
    –> consider the medical [alt&allopathic] pros who advise patients that their LIFE depends on following the doctors’ advice, & is quickly ignored or the lowly mechanic [with his expertise in electronic,electrical,hydraulic&mechanical workings of cars] who tells you point blank, that you have to adhere to the owner’s manual list of maintence schedules, or you’ll end up paying thousands more for neglect…& customers shrug That off !
    – yup, people have no sense of self-preservation, so the bottom line must be You’re in this because You like it.

    • Hey Dar,

      Your points are well made and I take them to heart. You’re right – “people have no sense of self-preservation”.


      • Mal

        Hi Bill,

        I hope you would keep this blog going in some form or other, even on a casual basis. I remember how I found your blog, quite by accident, when I was doing a bit of research on Malwarebytes. I’ve been here ever since. To say my attitude to security has done a 180 degree change is an understatement. Before I started being one of your regulars, I thought running AVG and Zone Alarm was enough. It took an infestation of Spyware to change my attitude, and lead me to your site. So take heart, I am sure there are many others out there who will have the same experience.

        Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be right for you.


        • Hey Mal,

          The truth is, when I started writing yesterday, I had no intention of writing that article – I didn’t set out to write it. In fact, I was almost finished an entirely different article when I went off on a tangent, and ended up with this.

          It was just one of those depressing “here we go again” writing about the same old, same old, days – and it came through in the article. But, I don’t think, in the short term, I’m going to change too much – except perhaps, for slightly more focus on upbeat news. If I can find any. 🙂

          I appreciate, very much, your readership, friendship, and always, your thoughtful comments.