In the Wake of the 'Love Bug'

Now that everyone knows not to open e-mail files carrying the message "I love you," think of the number of people trying to figure out other ways to convey that fundamental sentiment. Writers of Mother's Day greetings, wedding anniversary notes, and other expressions of genuine affection are going to have to exercise some care in labeling their missives - or go back to "snail mail."

That's just one way, and a fairly minor one, that computer saboteurs undermine the communicative convenience of the cyberage. "Love bug" worries are likely to wear off fairly quickly. Computer experts warn, however, there's always another malicious "hacker" out there conceiving a way to block the information highway.

That ego-driven desire to cause disorder has ample offsets. Computer security, once a minor discipline, has become a major enterprise. Police agencies are gearing up for Internet crime. Also, average users are becoming more aware of what they can do to thwart those who would use technology to cloud technology's future. For instance, avoid opening obscurely identified e-mail items.

More than any previous technological revolution, networked computers mirror the complexity of human thinking. We can expect remarkable advances from this technology, and rousing challenges.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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