Unthinkable Life Without the WEBIt would not be an understatement to say that the last 15 years have been practically revolutionary in terms of how the internet is used.  From it first being launched in the UK in 1996, and termed the ‘information super highway’, there was no way to be sure that the prediction that it would change lives would come true.  After all, technology advances all the time.  However, it is clear that the Web is here to stay. 

In the years before the internet became the portal to the outside world for many people, shopping was largely done on the high street.  Medical symptoms were looked up in encyclopaedias.  Students did their research in libraries, as they do today.  But their studies were bourn from books, articles and technical works.  Nowadays, a library would not be a place of study without internet access and an abundance of work stations.

The term ‘social networking’ would never have been used, and most people would have ridiculed the idea of Facebook or Twitter.  Instead, people would telephone one another (or perhaps send a text message or email of they were technologically minded).  They would arrange to meet.  If contact was lost with an old school friend, then it was tough luck.  Unless a chance meeting occurred, they were likely to be gone forever.

How things have changed dramatically.  Over the past ten years, the world has shifted from using the internet as a mere research tool, and it is now an integral part of every day life.  A million jobs can be completed before leaving the house. 

It is possible to shop for a dress for the weekend, obtain car insurance, update friends as to what is going on, tweet some messages and send emails without moving from a computer, laptop, phone or tablet screen. 

As good as this seems and as convenient as the internet is for our busy, over hectic lives, there have been many discussions about how to live a life away from the internet.  There has to be some encouragement for people to get back to old fashioned types of socialising, and to embrace the shops on their high streets.

And let’s not forget that the internet can also be a source for bad.  Over the years, there have been many email scams as well as identification theft for online shoppers.  The most vulnerable in society can find themselves extremely exposed on the social networking websites, and care must be taken when they are using the internet. 

For those who use the internet day to day to make purchases and freely pass on their information, it is worth checking how the data is being used, to ensure safety online.

Article written by Will Thomas, expert in being advert safe on the internet.