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The Good The Bad The Virtual

This summer I lectured about the new social engineering. A totally new phenomenon brought on completely by the Internet. Nothing else has changed society, so greatly, so globally and in such a short time. With today's technology and a laptop you can be at almost any point on the globe and get the Internet.

That said, it has also severely divided our world, in fact we ALL now live in two co- existing worlds. One is Real and the other is Virtual. And the problem is we are drawn a little deeper in to the virtual world a little more everyday.

And where the two worlds collide is not clear at all. Sony says "Live in your world. Play in ours.

" But how much fun is it really and what do we give up to have it? Hackers for the most part have given up. Security and encryption have become so good that they have switched to new devices like Phishing. We haven't had a good virus scare in almost a year. Because of this everything is moving online.

Online shopping is positioned to exceed mall or store shopping. If you stick a card in a gas pump, you interact with this virtual world in some way. Business, banking, gaming, gambling, dating . whoa right there.

Dating? Not only dating but just socializing in general. E-mail, instant massaging, interactive games, online collaboration. At no other point in history could our 14 year old hold a 20 minute chat with some kid in China and never leave the bedroom. The virtual is becoming a powerful force. But . the force has a dark side, young Skywalker.

Have you noticed how deep we are withdrawing into, and relying on this new virtual world? And, have you noticed that for every good action there is a reaction that is just as or even more powerful? For example, our seniors, (who by the way are the larger part of the computer market right now),with a laptop and an Internet connection they can socialize, shop, order medication, watch or be watched with web cams. It has become a way for them to reach out and maintain their independence, a good thing. In exchange though, everything we do, everything we buy, everywhere we go is tracked. Which came to light during this past political campaign when "Micro- Marketing" broke the news. There is a profile on every individual who swipes a card. This is a BAD thing.

This is the first of a few articles I decided to do about the duality of this new wonder and what it may cost us in the end.

Chris Kaminski has been working in computer repair and web development for the last 20 years. Kaminski is CEO and head technician for Computerguyslive.com, an online computer repair company based in Asheville, NC. Visit Computer Guys Live online at for computer repair and check out the invaluable Wireless Connection Guide.



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