Persistence Pays Parasites

by Larry Emmott on June 21, 2010

in Internet,Security

Interesting: Cory Doctorow gets phished.

“All complex ecosystems have parasites.” She was talking about spam and malware these days they’re often the same thing and other undesirable critters on the net. It’s one of the smartest things anyone’s ever said to me about the net

via Locus Online Perspectives » Cory Doctorow: Persistence Pays Parasites.

From Andrew: If you suffer from techfear please don’t rally behind Cory’s experience and cry, “Nobody is safe!”

It’s true, nobody is safe. Internet security threats are real; as real burglary and murder, which, I might remind you, are two crimes that you have been co-existing with your entire life. You still dare to leave your home sometimes, risking muggings and hold ups. You still drive your car, risking deadly accidents.

In addition to the fact that e-crimes are very unlikely to leave you dead or injured, the real threat is that you lack cultural training. I use the word training because it is one of my father’s favorite soap-box issues, and it is worth pointing out that the idea extends to informal technologies as well. You don’t walk down dark alleys and you don’t ignore the guy running the red light even when you have the right of way.

Technophobia is really just the subconscious realization that you lack the cultural competence to tell the unlit alleys from the well-lit thoroughfares. You can drive a Hummer and probably survive more accidents, or you can spend less money on that Civic and just take the time to drive defensively. You could say it is a matter of personal responsibility.

When you are considering a new product for your office, security should be a concern, but don’t let the salesman scare you into buying the Hummer unless that’s really what you need. Teach yourself how to drive, learn the risks, and find the security level that makes you most comfortable. Most people can get by just locking their doors.

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