(The above link does have some offensive language. If it bothers you, think twice)
I quite like the above flow chart (taken from the article linked above). Very helpful for the non-computer savvy.
But what I really want to address is cyber crime and the internet security business. There are a plethora of horrible crimes waiting to be committed through the internet, the most immediate to the everyday user is the threat of hackers accessing personal information through phishing, fraud, etc. The dangers are very real and very close to our homes.
So the logical response to such danger is to protect ourselves. We lock tax records in vaults and alarm our homes; so we buy anti-virus hardware to protect our computers. Completely logical.
But have we looked at the numbers caused by cyber crimes? All the most lost and spent to prevent cyber crimes has skyrocketed to the millions (citation here). And the reverse? Companies who devote themselves to help manufacture the firewalls and security, like Symantec, earn just as much millions of dollars every year (citation here).
I don’t think any other crime-to-prevention ratio has such a high output for the market of the defense. Police officers don’t get a raise every time they arrest someone or issue a ticket. It’s astounding how much the defense profits from this.
But there is also nothing else that can be done about it. Since the internet is an continuously evolving system, hackers will continue to come up with new ways to access private information. Likewise, antivirus companies will continue to develop road blocks and security checks to market to us for our safety. A forever cat-and-mouse game between the hackers and the defenders.