When does digital illiteracy become dangerous?

Δημοσιεύτηκε στις: στις 17:47
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The rapid technological advancement inevitably compels a significant portion of the society to struggle in keeping up. The cognitive level of each individual differs, and it would be surreal and probably unfair to expect everyone to achieve and maintain sufficient education in the technological field. Right?



For better or worse, technology has enormously developed especially in the recent years, and has simultaneously infiltrated our lives to a remarkably large extent. While this leap of progress brings a plethora of benefits that substantially enhance our daily lives in countless ways, it also brings a corresponding amount of drawbacks, which can pose serious risks, some of which may prove fatal under certain circumstances.


The problem with the rampant evolution of technology, is that it has granted disproportionate power and authority to those who know it better than others. So much, that it essentially provided the ability for any criminal, fraudster, opportunist, or simply an ignorant individual to threaten or even cause harm to others, exploiting the world’s knowledge gap. Harm that can range from the social aspect, to the economic or even the personal one.


What the world has not yet realized, is that it fuels these declining travesties itself, and allows them to exist and continue their actions. It must finally be comprehended that anyone who possesses a device and connects to the internet, bears certain responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to have some basic – if not more – knowledge of the subject, in order to initially protect oneself, but more importantly, to protect the other users of the virtual community that they enter. The truly dangerous users of the internet turn out to be the clueless ones.


If we assumed that by tomorrow, by some magical means, the entire world would be aware of atleast the basic operating principles of technology and the internet, the rates of electronic crime and illegality would automatically plummet to zero levels.

Sounds utopian and impossible, but it really isn’t.


Degrees and academic studies are not necessary to be able to understand of how the internet and the technology that surrounds it works at the bigger picture. For most matters, relying on common sense is sufficient. Just like in real life, the virtual world will always feature attempts of deception, theft, defamation, and other generally malicious actions against us or our fellows. Everything depends on whether we manage to perceive them and, subsequently, how we react to them, even if we are not theoretically the direct victims.


If people continue to input their personal data on any random website they find on the internet, if they continue to fall into traps of advertisements promising easy money and free products, if they continue to follow, share and reproduce fake profiles and false news on social media, then the society itself will be responsible for its technological decadence and the victims that it will drag along.


All that is needed is to use the intelligence that each one of us possesses to some extent, and manage to recognize a reliable website from an unreliable one, a credible source from an invalid one, an authentic advertisement from a deceptive one, a fake profile from a genuine one. If we do not have the required intelligence or expertise to make these differentiations, it is not shameful to conduct a research, or seek help and opinions from true specialists. If we don’t want to go through this, then it would be better for us, and for the rest of the society as well, to distance ourselves from the undoubtedly complex world of technology, and engage in something else. Otherwise, we risk of becoming inadvertently dangerous, due to our digital illiteracy.

Χρήστος Καπετάνιος

Software & Web Developer
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Owner @ internal.gr
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