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Internet (Chaos vs Organization)

There are so many websites on the internet today that require a User ID and Password, that it has gotten very difficult to keep track of our online log-ins. Most of the newer Browsers have the ability to save log-in information, so do downloadable Form Fillers. But the question is, “Do you TRUST these services with your log-in info?” There are online videos that show how to hack the files that store this info, and there is also the old adage of “not putting all your eggs in one basket.” Could you imagine either being totally wiped out of your online services by a nefarious hacker, or having a competing company buy out your favored site? And we are not just talking about an expendable online profile. What if it was the log-in to your business website, or that ultra-important online email account that you only give to your true friends? In that case, a loss of data could be catastrophic.

So, what are we to do? Should we compile the log-in info in a digital file, paper file, online account, or other means of information storage? Or should we just try to memorize all of it? Must we create “backup” profiles and accounts, or should we avoid investing in sites which hold so much of our precious data? Is the key to success in the online realm a novel one–namely, view your online activity as a form of gambling. Only gamble that which you can afford to lose, and that would be trivial information at that. The time spent building and using these sites could be seen as entertainment. Any loss would not be felt, b/c at least we enjoyed the process of using the service.

And now that major companies are getting bought-out each month, the online world is turning into a conglomerate the way the rest of the Mass Media already is. And with it goes all of our services–email, social network, blogs, photos, videos, podcasts, websites, news sites, eCommerce, phone records, chat history, etc.

For example, how will a competitor buying Yahoo, Facebook, or any other major player affect your online status? What could happen if Microsoft, News Corp, or Google suddenly owned all of your emails? How does CBS’s aquisition of CNET effect our Tech News and Product Reviews? Obviously, CBS should allow the talented crew at CNET to continue operating the site with the knowledge and skill they have displayed over the past several years.

So, in summary, I began this article with a look at the CHAOS of all the different sites that compete for our attention. I showed how it can get confusing to remember all of our user names and passwords. But at the same time, I am fearful of a buyout that would give us all one online log-in ID, like a Microsoft or Google Account that contained our eMail, News Feeds, Podcast manager, Social Network, etc. In that scenerio, the Federal Government and Large Corporations have us in the palm of their hands. They know us so well that they can expose our communications (like Blackmail), view our trade secrets and company correspondance, see who our online friends are, view (and own) our photos and videos, etc. Do you want to give that much power to one entity? Or do we try to seek out little accounts for each of our online services with totally different companies around the world, and do our best to manage our log-in information and keep separate our email, photos, videos, etc with totally different accounts that can’t easily be associated with each other–except by out ISP…

Well, in that case, we all need to download those famous “Anonymous Online” Filters that route our web traffic through 8 different servers to hide our activity and ultimately our identity. The same filters that slow down our browsing speed in the process of protecting our identity and location.

Comments appreciated.