Dodging an internet apocalypse

There’s nothing a like a little hiccup to the internet to bring the tech charlatans and other cockroaches out of the woodwork, although wiser heads are now starting to prevail.

As it turned out, the internet wasn’t “shaken to the core” by a childish spat between two groups of self-righteous geeks.

It’s worthwhile keeping non-events like this in mind the next time you read a breathless article about an evil hacker, cyber terrorist or rogue regime threatening to bring the online world down.

What’s really disappointing with hysterical stories like this is there are real risks to the internet, ranging from telephone exchanges burning down, divers cutting subsea cables to solar flares toasting the planet’s electronics.

Interestingly, 2013 is predicted to be a year of intense solar activity. So we might get to test some of the doomsday scenarios.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is the main marketing tool of the technology scoundrel, events like the online squabble of the last few days bring out those scoundrels.

The irritating thing with these people is their snake oil rarely addresses the real risks we have to deal with.

Watch out for them, they want to scare you into buying something.

Paul Wallbank speaks and writes on how industries and societies are changing in this connected, globalised era. When he isn’t explaining technology issues, he helps businesses and community organisations through his business Netsmarts.

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