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Brave New Cyber World

By John W. Kennedy | March 10, 2009

As the economy continues on a downward spiral, the temptations to misuse the Internet will increase. Don’t get me wrong. The Web is a great place for the suddenly unemployed to network in an effort to find work.

But the Internet also is fraught with advice on how to pad a résumé, sneaky ways to cheat on your taxes and supposedly surefire schemes to triple the amount of money you invest. These days, online dangers go beyond the lure of pornography or the trap of sexual predators.

virtual-integrity.jpgIn his new book, Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web, computer security expert Daniel J. Lohrmann points out how technology has altered the way we relate.

“PCs, mobile computing, cell phones, BlackBerries and the millions of things we can do on the Internet have forever changed the scope and sophistication of the battles that we face in the twenty-first century,” Lohrmann writes. “New seductions are cleverly packaged as ‘innovative opportunities’ that are really appeals to engage in unproductive, harmful and even immoral activities online.”

As wages remain stagnant and unemployment rises, there will be even more attempts to cut corners when it comes to telling the truth about ourselves online. Many security and privacy problems really are moral and ethical issues at their root, according to Lohrmann, a Christian, husband and father of four.

Lohrmann suggests that lying, cheating and stealing are encouraged in a variety of cyber venues. Surfers conveniently rename immoral activities. “Plagiarism becomes copying text, stealing becomes downloading files,” he writes.

Citing statistics from psychologist Dr. Michael Conner, Virtual Integrity declares that half of those online lie about their age, weight, job, marital status or gender. Unsurprisingly, the Internet is a contributing factor in almost 50 percent of family problems.

lohrmann-daniel.jpgLohrmann, who is Michigan’s chief information security officer, has multiple horror stories of how computer users went wrong. He offers a sensible solution: follow Psalm 101:3, which states, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.”

“Stated a few other ways,” Lohrmann writes, “I won’t cheapen myself or waste my time accessing material that I know is evil and can cause problems that would violate my integrity. I won’t intentionally surf the Internet to access content that I know is wrong.”

While we can do much anonymously online, let’s remember: God is always watching.

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Topics: Internet |

3 Responses to “Brave New Cyber World”

  1. Bob Mims Says:
    March 11th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Right on, John. A timely subject and astute treatment.

  2. cyberworld Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    […] fascinating. One key point she made was that she is not necessarily interested in trends in general.Brave New Cyber World at Midlife MusingsOne Response to Brave New Cyber World Bob Mims Says: March 11th, 2009 at 3:12 pm. Right on, John. A […]

  3. caron shapiro Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Caron and Ben SHapiro from suburban ny here. Jesse was our “nanny”. We heard about the tornado and ben was worried about ur family so please write me back and tell us if you were effected by this tragedy. We’ll always remember jesse thinking that a siren here was a tornado warning. Close: it was a test warning about Indian Point Nuke Power center.