More People Doing More Important Things

Just as more of us are online more often, the Net is becoming a more important part of our day-to-day lives. Many of us rely on e-mail as an essential form of communication. Some of us need the Net to do our jobs, either for an organization or for ourselves. Many businesses, such as Google, eBay, Yahoo! and Amazon.com, could not even exist without the Net. So whereas in the 1990s, the Net was a requirement more for hobbyists and specialists, in the 21st century, the Net is essential for the rest of us as well. It’s pretty much like water or electricity—we just can’t do without it.

With the Internet, we have a utility that we have come to rely on and that is accessible by a billion people. The Net is not only accessible but also affectable. And for every million additional people on the Net, you know that so-many-thousand new hackers will try to affect things. Businesses and large organization have to come to recognize these facts, and most are taking protective measures, if somewhat belatedly. But the same realization has not yet trickled down to the rest of us.

We hope that these statistics, along with the rest of this book, will help convince you that all of us need to do whatever we can to make our online experience a safer one—and that in general, doing so is pretty easy.