I spent quite a few years building early community access systems and conducting public training sessions about the wonders of the Internet (see the National Capital FreeNet).
With today’s serious problems that we have been discussing, including viruses, spyware, trojans, phishing, browser hijacking, etc., I am left worndering if, at least for the time being, my stance should change. Should the general public with limited computer and Internet skills, Bill’s Dad in the keynote address today, be encouraged to get connected to the Internet?
What is needed is a cost+risk/benefit analysis. Are the costs and risks associated with going online today, including the extra hardware and software that is needed to remain somewhat secure and the risks of frustration at best and identity theft at worst, great enough that any benefits of going online are now not worth it?
If Grandma wanted to connect to the Internet today, what would you tell her?