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Part III: Dangerous Territory: Protectin... > Understanding the Online Environment...

Chapter 7. Understanding the Online Environment: Web Surfing and Online Payment Systems

Imagine the Internet as an ocean and your computer as the sailboat. Maybe you are sailing to reach a destination, or maybe you are just sailing for fun. Either way, you shouldn't sail onto the open waters of the Web without first learning about sailing technique, safety, and navigation. The Web, much like the ocean, has rough seas and the occasional pirate who wants to pillage your boat, or rather your PC. But if you learn the proper technique, learn proper safety precautions, and navigate your PC correctly, you'll arrive at your destination safe and sound. The next few sections of this chapter examine some of the Internet ventures that are more likely to be taken for granted, illustrating the threats associated with them and what you can do to prepare and protect yourself.

The Internet is a neutral entity, a medium for communications. In all of its complexity and simplicity, the Internet truly is one of the greatest achievements of the modern world—a creation destined to impact the next several hundred years. It is one of the last frontiers we have for sharing free thoughts and ideas. Protecting our thoughts and ideas from people who want to exploit or manipulate them is the goal of this chapter. Our current generation will be known in the future history books as the creators of the Internet. Every decision we make now regarding the Internet and the circulation of free, uncensored, and unexploited information will impact the evolution of the Internet and its place in our global society.


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