Dear Reader,

A spontaneous experiment in hacking and alerting the average person to internet threats resulted in …. (drum roll, please) … absolutely nothing.[1] That’s correct — absolutely no response at all!  People went about their day in busy New York City as if they had been handed a flyer for a sale they weren’t interested in and just put it in the trash bin.

This makes me wonder — how serious of a threat are hackers?   We all know about the banks, PayPal, Facebook, and email accounts that have been hacked into.   There have been the viruses and trojans that lurk out in the cloud waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting.   However, is the virtual life any less safe than the “real” world around us?

Banks have been physically robbed, financial organizations have been victim to intelligent embezzlers, and people have lost life savings and their homes during times of economic crashes and depressions.   Most Rhode Islanders still remember RISDIC.[2] Sometimes the safety inspections in food plants or drug manufacturing fails and people get sick before the accident is caught in time.

Maybe the American public is realizing that some of the new security risks are just a part of the emerging virtual landscape of American Internet.   City dwellers such as our New York friends walk between moving cars on the street and causally take danger in stride that would upset people from a more rural setting.   How many casualties actually happen?   I have been travelling by bus for the last year and a half and been on foot all over Rhode Island.   Rhode Island is not nice to pedestrians.   I’ve not yet been hit — and its not for the lack of them trying.   I also have not yet seen an accident involving a pedestrian.   Of course they happen.   There is always a risk.   I’ve grown accustomed to city life.

Perhaps people are just growing accustomed to life in the cloud.

Notes:

1http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41995926/ns/technology_and_science/

2. http://www.projo.com/specials/century/month11/collapse.htm

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