Cybercrime? It's not the only Internet battle we're losing
The Home Affairs Select committee warns today that we are 'losing the fight' against low-level Internet crime.
They're right, but there's a bigger problem than the sometimes laugh-out-loud amusing phishing scams which pepper my spam box from time to time. After all, I don't know one person who has been seriously seduced into claiming a "tax rebate" from HMRC after receiving an unsolicited email.
But I do know one friend who last week received an email from his bank so badly worded that he reported it as a phishing scam. It read:
This is Natwest Bank Fraud Team. Please contact us urgently on 08453560020 regarding suspect fraud on your account.
As he points out in a rant on Facebook, the bank never refers to itself as "Natwest Bank", but prefers "NatWest". That with combined with the "regarding suspect fraud" triggered the usual sigh and raised eyebrow, followed by prompt deletion. Then his business debit card was cut off.
It flags an issue which is of far bigger concern - we're losing the communication battle. In the Internet age, Generation Y is growing up on a diet of increasingly abbreviated and informal communication. We're increasingly moving away from face-to-face chatting to each other. Instead we stare into BlackBerrys even when at the pub. Terribly social.
Okay, this might have the ring of "aren't all the policemen looking younger" about it. I'm nearly 30 FFS, so indulge me. Us Millennials are growing up disconnected from the real world, looking at life through an iPhone screen. The Instagram filter is the modern equivalent of rose-tinted glasses. I should know, I'm criminal of it myself.
But in seriousness, it has the potential to have a knock-on effect on society. Ironically in an era where we're always connected and there's always somebody online willing to message us it can have the opposite affect. We're a generation in danger of becoming disconnected from the physical. The visceral. The real.
Put down the smartphone, kids. Get out there and socialise. I mean properly socialise.
David Kuczora is principal consultant at Clive Reeves PR and Chairman of PRCA FrontLine Midlands.