Maturing of the Internet: Of Spam and Spyware

Now the 50-year-old Seemayer is once again on the cutting edge: Sick of spam clogging his in-box and spyware and viruses crashing his system, Seemayer yanked out his high-speed connection.
“I’m not going to pay for something that I can’t use,” he said.
A small but growing number of frustrated computer owners are coming to the same conclusion. They’re giving up or cutting back their use of the Internet, especially at home, where no corporate tech support team will ride to their rescue.

Article is here
About 4 years ago the IT community hit a glut of new IT folk, many of whom didn’t know what they were doing, as exponentially proliferating computers and broadband made a “computer expert” out of thousands and thousands of casual computer users every month. Now, the point of this article rings a very true note as I know people personally who are online less and their taste for things Internet related has soured, all due to Spam and Spyware. As people have hit the net in droves, so too have the vultures and the advertisers followed. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s products (namely IE) were not engineered for such scales of economy…the holes were too big, and it only took time and a large enough marketplace for those holes to become so big and pervasively exploited that it is starting to backlash and drive people out of the niche.
I guess on the one hand it is good to see this trend, because it just means people like me are that much more practical today. Where once was a geek that could help out now and then, people like me will soon become as necessary as white blood cells protecting a biological body. Fallout like this also scrapes off the chafe of the IT sector, leaving a heartier and overly better-skilled workforce to forge ahead into this maturing medium.
This backlash can only be temporary. The Internet is far too powerful a tool and even an integral component of life, especially for younger people. This won’t last, but is just part of the growing phases… The Internet as a means of communicating, expression, information gathering and sharing, expanding marketplaces… There are times when people take a step back from consumerism and all the gadgets and toys of life, and some of them get back to being simpler, being happy in simplifying. But sometimes, some tools are just too life-changing, world-altering, that they can’t just be dropped in the name of simplification…much like the steam engine, cars, airplanes, telephones.

There is a group at Best Buy called the Geek Squad who are available to help consumers with their computers questions and problems. However, I think there is still a very strong market for someone much more specialized: security persons. I think people can work their way into putting together printers and home networks by utilizing corporate support through vendors. However, there are few ways to “learn” how to deal with spam, spyware, adware, viruses, and malicious users/worms bouncing digital flak at their always-on broadband connections. There are few ways for people to pull themselves up out of the clutches of all this garbage and still be productive and efficient with theit time and investments online. Getting a printer online is one thing, but confidently securing a home network and family is another.