Thursday, December 4, 2008

Does anyone out there understand this stuff?

I received the following email forwarded from a contact recently.


 Now, what I find interesting is the simple fact that they must have in turn received this from one of their contacts but they chose to believe it to be true immediately. It certainly doesn’t appear that the question was asked to whether this was legitimate before it was forwarded to me. If someone did that to them in the street they certainly think twice before accepting anything. Why doesn’t the same apply with technology? To those that know there is plenty to give away the fact that it is indeed a hoax.

The problem this highlights is simply how easy it is to bypass most security technology by convincing a user to take steps to circumvent security. This is how most security issues spread, by people believing carte blanch that what they have received is legitimate. I’m afraid that no technology is going to ever be able to mitigate the threat users pose to their own systems. The only method is training and the attitude to trust nothing from the Internet with verifying it.

When most employees go to work in a business they are not taught how to use emails are they? They are likewise not taught how to use the Internet and clearly they are also not taught how to search as the following from Google illustrates.

Now, apparently these are the top ten terms used in Google searches according to Google (yet to see this posted on the web by Google – maybe soon):


  • Games
  • Sydney
  • YouTube
  • MySpace
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • eBay
  • My
  • Weather
  • Hotmail
    Ahhh, hang on. Why are people typing Google into Google search? It sorta indicates to me that people don’t know what they are doing, just like in the following video clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oCHxB8d20s
    Don’t forget typing Google into Google is the sixth most popular search term. Now it is my understanding that these words are the top ten single words searched for on Google. Hello. Doesn’t that sort of tell you that people don’t really know how to use search engines? Look at the other words as well, many are domains (i.e. Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, etc). What’s going on here. How can we have had the web for all these years and yet so many people don’t seem to even understand the basics!

    We spend so much of our time encapsulating our lives with technology when in reality most people have very little idea about it all. In our jobs we are simply expected to know how to use emails, the web, office applications etc but are never taught. So how are we going to use them? Via the lowest common denominator. We are afraid and too time poor to try and learn any features or configurations that would really help. Our employers take for granted that employees know how to use all the technology and yet employees, without guidance and training, are the best threats to circumvented security that any organization faces. Also think about the time people waste struggling to use technology tools they have only learned by trial and error. Maybe this in another reason people haven’t adopted Vista – to much change.

    The answer is not more technology it is understanding how to use the technology better.