v22 #5 Little Red Herrings: Hacked Off in the Web

by Mark Y. Herring (Dean of Library Services, Dacus Library, Winthrop University) herringm@winthrop.edu

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Column Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article appeared on the Dacus blog at http://dacuslibrary.wordpress.com/category/bookmarks/.
— MH 

According to a new report (http://tinyurl.com/2g6ghps), if you are on the Web at all, you’re not safe from hackers, phishers, and spammers (oh my!). The Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact (http://cybercrime.newslinevine.com/) of 7,000 Web users tells us that 65% of all users globally, and 73% of U. S. users, have been hacked in some sort of cybercrime. Globally, the U.S. ranks very high but in this case we’re not first in line. China wins Number One with 83% of its users Web-abused in some manner. These are figures to give one pause.

And there isn’t much we can do about it, either. In a recent article (http://nyti.ms/9gASVb) in the New York Times, we are reminded that even strong passwords aren’t the solution and neither is changing them or garbling them with letters and numbers. In fact, there are no certain safeguards. Apparently folks like Scott McNealy (http://bit.ly/iX8Y) and Mark Zuckerberg (http://rww.to/4LSyfR) are right after all. We all have no privacy anymore: it’s dead, so get over it.

Plenty of blame for these privacy breaches exists to go around. But there are at least two places that shoulder much of it: our own stupidity and the nature of the free and open Web.

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