Adultery Gone Awry on the Internet

The Ashley Madison site declares on its home page that “Life is short. Have an affair.” The home page goes on to state that “Ashley Madison is the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.” The site also boasts “over 38,050,000 anonymous members!” But how anonymous are those members, really?

People engage in all sorts of communications and transactions on the Internet. Generally, they like to believe that their personal information is handled confidentially. For example, if someone buys an item from Amazon, she hopes that her name, credit card information, and address will not be publicly disseminated. Continue reading “Adultery Gone Awry on the Internet”

Mitigating Cyber Risks

Let’s face it, the Internet can be a scary place from a risk standpoint. Indeed, it seems that on practically a daily basis we hear about a massive security breach and the theft of sensitive and personal data.

So, what are companies to do to mitigate cyber risks? Of course, they should employ the best in class technologies that are designed to block cyber intrusions and attacks. They also should implement and enforce cyber security company-wide policies. Continue reading “Mitigating Cyber Risks”

Cyber Risks Are Here and Now

The Internet provides an abundance of benefits in so many aspects of our lives. We have information at our fingertips. We are in touch with our family and friends in myriad new and different ways. We can make purchases from our computers and our phones, without the hassle of having to go to out to the store. And the list of benefits go on and on.

But that is not the end of our story. No, indeed. The Internet, unfortunately, also creates many risks and liabilities for us as well. Recent data suggest the following disturbing trends.  Continue reading “Cyber Risks Are Here and Now”

Your Shopping Experience Is About to Get Even Easier

Once upon a time, shopping was a time-consuming endeavor. We had no choice but to actually get out of the house and physically travel to different stores to buy what we needed.

Then, the online shopping revolution occurred. Rather than traveling out of the house, all we now need to do is move ourselves up to our computers, and the shopping world is at our fingertips. Practically anything can be purchased over the Internet from a multitude of different Web sites. And Amazon, for example, has sought to be a one-stop shopping site, where countless thousands of items are available for purchase at any given moment, from books, to apparel, to electronics, to furniture, to food, to toys — and the list goes on and on.
Continue reading “Your Shopping Experience Is About to Get Even Easier”

The History of Technology — Past, Present and Future

We live in the digital age, with the Internet growing exponentially and with our lives becoming more online every day. It is easy to believe that the development of technology has happened primarily in recent times, given this explosion of information technology.

However, that is far from the truth. Indeed, technology, in all of its various facets, has been emerging over the course of millennia. Let’s take a look at just some key technology invention dates from earliest to most recent: Continue reading “The History of Technology — Past, Present and Future”

Be Afraid, Very Afraid Of Who You Meet Online?

Before the explosion of online communications, our world necessarily was smaller and who we came in contact with tended to people we already knew. Then our ability to reach out and communicate with others expanded dramatically and exponentially as we all started traveling at warp speed down the information superhighway.

We learned that not only could we interact with people locally, but with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks we could be communicating with people across the country and even in countries on the other side of the globe. Part of the fun was our ability to communicate anonymously, using pseudonyms.

We could be informal, we could be creative, and we could reinvent ourselves. Indeed, most of us probably remember the cartoon with a dog in front of a monitor and a keyboard that had a caption which read: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Case law developed making clear that First Amendment protections extended to the right to speak freely and even anonymously on the Internet.

All well and good, right? Perhaps for the most part. The Internet has provided a medium that has led to many beneficial communications and interactions for personal, business, and other purposes. However, human nature is not always pure. From the beginning of human history, it seems there always have been some people intent on mischief and even violent behavior. And unfortunately, with the increased ability for people to contact others via the Internet, there also is a heightened possibility for such contacts to lead to terrible results.
Continue reading “Be Afraid, Very Afraid Of Who You Meet Online?”

The Need for Speed Online: Don’t Just Sit There!

Do you ever get up in the morning, feeling sluggish and just not up to the tasks that await you? For most of us, the answer is yes, at least once in a while.

And does it ever seem that your Internet connection is having a bad hair day? Specifically, does it feel like it takes forever for Web pages to download, reminding you of the days of 32k and 56k dial-up modems?

If so, do you just sit there passively and hope and pray that the connection will improve? Well, there might be something you can do to give your Internet connection that coffee jolt that it needs to step up its game.

Case in point: There I was, trying to open Web pages so that I could accomplish work tasks remotely from my home computer last week. I kid you not, everything online was taking forever! Continue reading “The Need for Speed Online: Don’t Just Sit There!”

FTC Seeks to Thwart ‘Revenge Porn’

While the Internet provides many obvious advantages to people in this digital age, it can also enable a dark side for those intent on mischievous and criminal online behavior. “Revenge porn” is part of that dark side.

So, what is revenge porn? It usually consists of a nude photograph or video which is publicly shared online (most frequently by an ex-lover of the nude subject) for the purpose of spiteful humiliation.

The nude photograph or video generally is recorded when the couple is in a positive relationship, and then later is shown to the world on the Internet after the relationship has crumbled, most often by the male posting nude content of his female ex.

There also are revenge porn ransom websites. Specifically, such a website posts nude photos and videos provided by ex-lovers of their former lovers, and then offers to take down the content if paid a certain amount of money. The Federal Trade Commission has been seeking to root out these types of websites.
Continue reading “FTC Seeks to Thwart ‘Revenge Porn’”

Where Has All the Privacy Gone?

When it comes to privacy, a lyric from a Joni Mitchell song seems apt: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Indeed, as technology has moved forward, it seems that practically every semblance of privacy has disappeared.

Let’s recount just a few of the ways that privacy has gone by the wayside.

From the Workplace to Cyberspace

For starters, there is very little privacy in the workplace. Most employers have employees sign policies stating that the business equipment that employees use is company property and that employers can monitor communications using that equipment. Employees are told upfront that they do not have expectations of privacy when using company phones, computers, and other devices.

In addition, practically everyone is living their life, at least to some extent, on the Internet. As a consequence, all sorts of private information is shared in cyberspace. When making online purchases, for example, credit card and home address information is shared. When making such purchases, consumers agree to the terms of service of the providers. At times, those terms of service allow for the further sharing of information provided, and can also lead to targeted advertising. Continue reading “Where Has All the Privacy Gone?”

It’s a Small World After All

It just is not realistically possible for countries to be isolationist in this current era. Indeed, the entire world is interconnected by the Internet and other technologies.

Consider this fact that shows how the world is becoming smaller as we group together even more closely: 3,000 years ago there were about 600,000 independent world communities; now there are fewer than 200 such communities.

And when a disease breaks out like Ebola in Africa, with our means of transportation, such a disease can show up and infect people in distant other places.

Continue reading “It’s a Small World After All”

© 2009- Duane Morris LLP. Duane Morris is a registered service mark of Duane Morris LLP.

The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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