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From the Pre-Historic Era Man has tried to develop an easy and better way of Communication and transfer of Information and Knowledge in a short time and easy way to those who are out of reach. He has developed several ways for it since then, one of which is the internet. In the Early Ages people Used to send paper mails to other parts of the world for the sake of communication. Newspapers were also published to transfer the everyday news to the people. As the people became advanced radio and telephone became a source of communication and information. But in the 19th century a revolution came with the invention of the internet.
Most traditional communications media, including telephone, radio, television, paper mail and newspapers were being reshaped, redefined, or even bypassed by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet Telephony, Internet Television, Online Music, digital newspapers, and video Streaming websites. Newspaper, book, and other print publishing were also adapted to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators. The term Internet is used to refer to the specific global system of interconnected Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The Internet is a global network that comprises many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks. It operates without a central governing body. The history of the Internet begins with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s.
Initial concepts of WAN (wide area networking) originated in several Computer Science Research laboratories in the United States. The US Government’s Department of Defense awarded contract in the early 1960s for the development of the ARPANET project. The first message was sent over the ARPANET in 1969 at University of California, Los Angeles to the second network node at Stanford Research Institute. In the 1980s, research at CERN in Switzerland by a British computer scientist Tim Berners Lee resulted in the WWW (World Wide Web), linking hypertext documents into an information system, accessible from any node on the network. Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture, commerce, and technology, including the rise of instant communication by email, instant messaging, telephone calls, interactive video calls, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums, blogs, social networking, and online shopping sites.
The Internet’s takeover of the global communication landscape was almost instant in the historical terms as it only communicated 1% of the information flowing through telecommunications networks in the year 1993, already 51% by 2000, and more than 97% of the telecommunicated information by 2007. Today the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information, commerce, entertainment, and social networking. Globally, time spent on social networking sites surpassed time spent on email in November 2007, and the number of social networking users surpassed the number of email users in July 2009. Today, social networking sites are the preferred platforms for all kinds of activities, both business and personal. It is the decisive technology of the Information Age, and with the explosion of wireless communication in the early twenty-first century, we can say that humankind is now almost entirely connected.
The Internet allows greater flexibility in working hours and location, especially with the spread of high speed connections. The Internet can be accessed almost anywhere by numerous means, including through mobile Internet devices. Mobile phones, data cards and cellular routers allow users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. The Internet, as a whole, can be seen as technology that has greatly enhanced our lives. While the introduction of the Internet led to many benefits, unfortunately, it also came with its own set of problems. Let’s address some of the advantages of the Internet. For instance, media often report that intense use of the Internet increases the risk of isolation and withdrawal from society, but available evidence shows that the Internet neither isolates people nor reduces their sociability; it actually increases sociability, civic engagement, and the intensity of family and friendship relationships, in all cultures.
Networked social movements have been particularly active since 2010, notably in the Arab revolutions against dictatorships and the protests against the management of the financial crisis. Online and particularly wireless communication has helped social movements pose more of a challenge to state power. Before the Internet came into existence, to communicate with someone who isn’t in the same room as you, you would have to call them on a phone or send them a paper mail etc. With the introduction of the Internet, we now have the ability to send and receive messages through electronic mail- virtually instantaneously and without the need of a postage stamp as well as we can use many internet calling services like Skype, IMO etc., to communicate with others without any hesitation. With the Internet came the comfort of online shopping. Rather than having to drive to a mall and wait to make a purchase, you can now do all of your shopping with a few clicks on your computer or mobile phone through online Websites. In addition, the Internet made it easier for individuals to price compare between different online retailers and brands to see which one offers the best quality and prices. Nowadays, online banking is a very active field.
On the Bank Website you log into your online accounts to pay bills, transfer funds, or just to check your balance. Prior to online banking, you would have to drive to your local bank and wait in line to have your transactions completed. With the Internet, you can avoid it simply by logging into your account on your computer or mobile phone and completing your transaction from there any time of day or night. Several Services like PayPal and Payoneer etc, through their websites, provide you the service to transfer your money to any part of the world. The main advantage of the Internet is its ability to connect billions of computers and devices to each other. Not only does the Internet create convenience in sharing and receiving information between users, another advantage of the modern Internet is its ability for automation. Now we are an Era of the Internet of Things where devices and sensors communicate with each other to automatically perform a given task.
For example, a smart thermostat could reduce your energy cost by automatically adjusting the temperature when it senses you have left the house. Additionally, it “learns” your heating and cooling preferences and adjusts them to your liking. As we have discussed many Advantages of the Internet, there are also many disadvantages or drawbacks of it. The ability to send and receive emails also created a means for cybercriminals to distribute spam and malware. Malware hiding in email attachments could wreak havoc to your PC or possibly even create a backdoor for an attacker to hack your system. Through emails, cybercriminals saw this as another opportunity to play on human emotions and lure victims into revealing sensitive information through phishing scams. While the Internet brought upon convenience for individuals to make online purchases, this also created yet another way for cybercriminals to steal personal information and to distribute malware. First, cybercriminals create fake websites that offer goods at unbelievable prices to attract individuals. For example, if you search something through a search engine.
Cybercriminals can trick you into clicking on their fake website by boosting their ranking in the search engine results page (SERP) through a technique called SEO poisoning. You might think you’re making a normal search, but actually the cybercriminal has just taken hold of your personal information and could now use it for criminal purposes or sell it to the black market. Secondly, cybercriminals can spread malware on legitimate websites by means of drive-by-downloads. Since popular online shopping websites already receive a lot of visitors, this makes it much easier for cybercriminals to infect a wider range of computers in a shorter amount of time. Legitimate websites could unknowingly distribute malware to visitors through malicious advertisements (or malvertisements) that are run by a third party, or simply by the hacker who has taken control of the website himself. While the Internet brought upon efficiency and convenience of banking for consumers, this also gave cybercriminals or hackers a mean to potentially steal your hard-earned cash.
Cybercriminals could trick you into downloading a Trojan that would give them a back entry to your PC, where they could then record your banking credentials. Or, the cybercriminals could deceive you into revealing your credentials through a phishing scam. All of this could be done via the Internet without leaving any trace. As we discussed the Smart Thermostat in The Internet of Things (IoT) which can aid in reducing your energy cost, the downside is that a hacker could exploit the hardware of the thermostat and use it to spy on home owners. Since smart thermostats have access to information such as when you’re home or away, your zip code, and your WiFi credentials, a hacker who compromises the thermostat will now have access to all of this information. Smart thermostats aren’t the only devices vulnerable to attacks. According to a recent study, 70 percent of IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This list includes thermostats, TVs, webcams, home alarms, and door locks- just to name a few. The truth of the matter is that all of these devices have loopholes that could be exploited by hackers. All in all Internet is a good invention and it is the need of time. Today most of the people are dependent on the internet because it not only provides a faster way of communication but beyond that there are a lot of uses of it.
Many people have jobs online, some work online on websites like fiverr, freelancer and upwork etc, to earn money and live their lives. Many Companies and Organizations use it to deal with their clients and provide a smooth service. Many Charity Organizations collects a huge amount of charity through their websites using the Internet. Although there are some disadvantages of it but overall it has proved good for us and it helps us a lot in our everyday life. Anything can be used for both good and bad purpose, so it depends on us that in which way we use it. Same is the thing with the Internet, if we use it for a good purpose then it will prove good for us, but if we use it in a bad way then it’s an ultimate weapon of Destruction.
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