Our Greed and Fear

Date of Publish: 4 December 2019






It is not an understatement to say that we live on the Internet these days. First thing in the morning, we turn on our phone; last thing before we go to sleep after saying Good night to family members, we check our phone. This is how connected (addicted?) we are to the Internet. But we forget; for all these to work, data (and instructions) is constantly flowing between our device and many unknown ones out there.







No wonder there are so many articles on how and what tools to use to keep one safe from cybersecurity threats. Rather than regurgitate what these articles share ad infinitum, I wish to highlight the proper mindsets and attitude to safeguard the weakest link; us.

WE COULD BE THE NEXT VICTIM

TC: Yes, the Internet can be likened to the lions den, where dangers lurk. Bad guys are somewhere out there, and they are constantly finding ways to do bad things and steal from us, even our identities. Hence, we should always be careful and mindful of our actions as we venture into the vast wilderness of the wild wild web.

STAY CURIOUS AND CAUTIOUS

TC: We can find almost everything we need to know on the Internet. It is so convenient and readily available that many of us take for granted that everything on the Internet is true. But this is far from the truth; especially when the Internet is no longer just a domain for information sharing but also e-commerce and trading where large amounts of money are spent and large fortunes are made.

Nicely packaged traps touted as panacea and cure-all for anything from medical illnesses to instant wealth and fame are laid every day, all the time, with one sole purpose; for you to part with your money. Therefore be sure to remember that not everything you read and research online is true: stay cautious.

DO NOT JUST TRUST AND BELIEVE; VERIFY AND VALIDATE

TC: By now, all of us know what is fake news. What is not obvious though is that fake news is often created to serve a purpose. Rather than dismissing them as the work of bored minds, fake news is often the handiwork of scheming ones who are trying to influence election outcomes, incite racial disharmony and influence peoples opinions. It is common for them to be written (and reported) as news when in fact they are persuasively written opinion pieces.

IF IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS

TC: Articles, videos, advertisements advertising Get Rich Quick schemes, and many others that promise wealth (and sometimes fame) are no strangers to most of us. Often, they are so well produced with photos, videos and even testimonials from people we know and trust that it is easy to believe their authenticity and part with our hard-earned money. Fortunately, many top political leaders and tycoons have stepped forward to disassociate themselves from these campaigns voluntarily. So, if something seems too good to be true, we must assume that it is too good to be true indeed.

Even though tools have been created to reduce phishing, scams and others, new scams continue to sprout and exploit our human weaknesses; greed and fear. And no amount of installing good and effective cybersecurity tools can help, unless we can curb these two instincts. Only then, can we truly stop being; The Weakest Link.