Monday, February 9, 2015

The 'Cloud, Net and online--everything,especially the 'crooks!'

It seems that nearly every day we hear about yet another scam, ripping off the elderly, gullible, desperate, naive, young---well, anyone! The latest (which will probably be superseded before I have finished this blog) is once again from Nigeria, whereby desperate ‘would be renters,’ have become the target of unscrupulous criminals. Such examples are not limited to Nigeria of course; we have lots of nasty rip-off artists here in NZ. With a majority of NZers using the net for many of their business transactions, shopping and seeking services, then the likelihood of being ‘watched, measured, set-up and eventually sucked into a scheme, or paying over money, increases. The more you go online and now even smart TVs are capable of finding out things about you, then the pitfalls increase. What is the solution? I am certainly not the person to suggest answers. Whilst I have not been a victim, that I know of, I am increasingly wondering if the old fashioned, ‘in your presence’, real person, in an office or on a telephone line, connected to a person you can guarantee is ‘real’ in every sense, is the way to go. How can one achieve such ‘connections’ in this day and age, when opportunities to engage in this manner are so limited? I really feel for those amongst us who simply refuse to join the ‘computer age, or use a smart phone and god knows what else that is about to ‘pounce on us’ from the Jetsons, as seen on TV so many years ago. If you can’t ‘hook-on,’ then your chances of partaking in the ‘good side’ of modernity are indeed limited. I see a huge need for community groups to seek out those who need help and mitigate against them being used, abused, ripped off or having their identities stolen. Food for thought---politicians? In the meantime---be careful people and don’t forget that age old piece of advice about ‘if it seems hard to believe then it probably isn’t!’