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Best and Worst Aspects of the Internet

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          I’m going to discuss about the best and worst aspects of the Internet. The Internet connects you to the global audience. Also it has made things more convenient. Clearly the Internet has brought us a lot of benefits. We depend on it so much that we cannot live without it today. However, at the same time it has brought a lot of problems, too. In my opinion, the best two aspects of the Internet are the ability to connect people global wide and its convenience. In contrast, its worst two aspects are privacy issue and the danger of malware.

          Firstly, I’ll talk about the best aspects of the Internet. The Internet connects you to the global audience. A good example of this is SNS such as Facebook. Facebook enables you to stay keep in touch with people and make new friends from all over the world. You can see its popularity from its growing number of users. According to Wikipedia, it has more than 800 million users on globe (July 2011). Also, Facebook is not only for individuals but also for organizations and companies. According to this article “Why Facebook matters”, Facebook plays a big role in maintaining social relationships, as it is referred as “utility”:

“Zuckerberg thinks of Facebook as what he calls a “utility.” More than 60 percent of members return at least daily, to see what friends are doing, check messages, send messages to others or to amplify their own profiles.”

Now, Facebook is really important to everyone. Not only individuals use it to communicate with friends but companies and organizations also use it for their promotion. The Internet has become the vital communication tool today.

          Second best aspect of the Internet is its convenience. You can do almost anything online and there are a lot of useful services. People use the Internet for daily bases like ordering take out for today’s lunch, and for special occasions like planning and booking holidays.Shopping online is a great help for Christmas as shopping season is just around the corner. There are some sites that allows you to compare prices thus saving your time and energy as well as money. Also, in other areas the Internet makes things very convenient and efficient by many useful services
  • Education: there are range of education available online from college degree to free online course online like ds106 that we actually used in this class. This opens up students for many options and learning style. In Japan, learning languages online is pretty popular.
  • Search Engines: You can find almost any information instantly by just clicking on search engine like Google, Yahoo and wikipedia. (Here is the list of the top search engines)
  • Skype: This enables you to chat, and call to your friends. Also it is a great help for international companies to have video conference that has branches in different countries.
  • Entertainment: listening to music on Youtube, watching movies, reading magazines, playing games.
  • Banking: It allows you to transfer money, checking accounts. Also it gives you more choices and saves money and time.

         Although the Internet has many advantages, it also has disadvantages. They are privacy issue and malware. I’ll talk about privacy issue first. Because the Internet connects you to the global audience, it also connects you to dangers online. For example, SNS like Facebook are treasure trove for hackers and ID thieves. People often share their photo or personal information with public without thinking carefully. Therefore there is much personal information online as this article points out. Because of its nature of social sites, there is little wonder why SNS like Facebook has a lot of privacy issues. In this article, it explains that:

Face it–“Facebook privacy” is an oxymoron. It is a social network. The name alone implies a network of connected individuals who are social with one another. Asking a social network to concern itself with privacy is like asking a rock concert to try not to be so loud, or asking a swimming pool to not be so wet.

Hackers and ID thieves exploit this advantage.When we are online, our privacy is at risk and it is very difficult to combat this issue since hackers’ knowledge and skills continue to develop as good technology improves.

         Malware is another worst aspect of the Internet. According to this article, there are a lot of dangers related to Facebook such as spams, hackers, and phishermen. Not only individuals are targets of malware. Companies and organizations are at risk as well. Most recent cases are that Kawasaki Heavy Industry Ltd had a unsuccessful cyber-attack in August and Japanese parliament had attacked from China. It is very difficult to avoid malware and the number of malware is on rise. People have to be aware of the danger of malware not only for computers but also their mobile phones now. Recently, Get Safe Online reported that malware on smart phone has risen by 800%. Malware is seemingly everywhere and users have to be very careful with it. The Internet is very useful but at the same time it has the same level of dangers.

         To sum up, the Internet is great and still worse. It all depends on how you use it. The Internet opens up you to a global conversation. Also thanks to the Internet, everything has became more convenient that now we can shop, book online and even earn college degree. However, the Internet contains dangerous aspects as well. They are privacy and malware malware is very difficult. Although its best and worse aspects of the Internet seem controversial, if you have proper knowledge and equipped to use it, the Internet gives you a lot of benefits and possibilities. The bottom line is that it totally depends on how you use it. Whether you spend time looking useful and trustworthy information and using it properly, or you waste your time reading junk information and downloading suspicious software.

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