Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean usually coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! This week, I am on the road live from our neighbours in New Brunswick, Canada! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. I hold no designations in politics and am a humanitarian and speak from that viewpoint only. Whether you agree or not, at least I hope it makes you think. Today I discuss the new age of the world of numbers or statistics. There are potential drawbacks. It is better you make an informed decision as it could affect your life and I feel some things need to be less available…which cannot be guaranteed online. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned!
The news this week came with a bit of unwelcome information. Apparently a Dept of Health laptop was stolen and though they say that they took steps and risk is low, there are hackers out there that will find a way if it is at all possible to access. The information was of 4000 patients and 1200 staff. https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/health-pei-notifying-public-of-privacy-breach-affecting-4000-patients-and-1200-staff. Potentially information of 5200 people on an Island Province of 164,000 people was stolen on a laptop https://worldpopulationreview.com/canadian-provinces/prince-edward-island-population. This is not the first time that privacy has been breached via the online world. It’s happened to different places from Government of Canada to huge companies. What does this mean? When it comes to the medical information, it can mean that you have someone who might be accessing your home address, date of birth and other personal information which could be used for nefarious purposes. Do you think the hackers don’t have access to the best technology? They say they did what they could to fix the issue, but was it soon enough? So, now 5200 people could have their medical card #, and personal information available to hackers potentially. No saying they could access, no saying they didn’t. If they did access, this is a gold mine to scammers. They would pay good money to get that information. Some of it gives access to health care and to other things.
First of all, most banks tell you if you do online banking, not to worry, if your money gets stolen, then they will fix the problem. However, https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banks-deny-compensation-online-fraud-security-1.5322982 according to the article in the link, this is not always the case. Also, https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/oct/02/victims-fraud-how-to-get-your-money-back-bank suggests it isn’t always that cut and dried. Some people have had to fight to get any money back. So, even this, having numbers and such online can have a cost. This is yet another number. Even if the cost is picked up by the bank, in the long run who do you think is paying for this unfortunate situation? Why do you think things like bank fees go up and such? Many people don’t understand that the cost of fraud and the cost of breach of privacy type of things online costs everyone. They figure oh the bank will pick it up. Maybe they will, but where do you think all the money for this comes from? It’s not a secret dear readers and listeners…it comes from all of us.
Forbes has an article with tons of statistics for those who like to see numbers. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2022/01/21/cybersecurity-in-2022–a-fresh-look-at-some-very-alarming-stats/?sh=782ffecc6b61 They mention millions, billions and trillions of dollars. All due to cyber crime. Who do you think pays for this variety of cyber frauds? The cost of goods goes up as a result, the cost of mailing. Companies lose money. People lose their savings. This is all due to breaches in security and cyber fraud of all sorts. With it so widespread and with people calling and pretending to be someone from a bank or a computer company or any other number of frauds perpetuated, I am to the point that I hate doing anything by phone or online.
It seems that there has been fraud since the early ages. We can easily find a quote from Sophocles suggesting, “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” So, they knew of this concept all along. Fraud of various sorts has existed in all countries, all cultures from time immemorial. This does not seem something that we are able to stamp out. It seems as long as there are people vulnerable to dishonesty, there will be fraud. Alan Greenspan is quoted as saying, “Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff. ” which is a sad commentary on society. It would improve the world a great deal if we could find a cure for this. It is a form of greed and much like illness can take over people’s lives.
Of course there are other things affected by cyber crime and cyber fraud. According to Ron Lewis, “Identity theft involving these cards is a growing form of white collar crime, facilitating illegal immigration, banking and accounting fraud, tax evasion, and other nefarious activities.” So, not only do we pay for it with money, but it is the crime that keep on giving so to speak. So, fraud pays for illegal activity, which makes for more fraud. People think they are getting away with something and they are getting something for nothing. However, this is not true. Anyone who pays taxes is paying for the need to have better cyber security for Government. If you buy goods from stores that have an online portion, you may also be paying for the fraud that they have to absorb. Even buying in store, you are paying as well for people shop lifting. Then there are the people who are being stolen from. Not everyone gets their life back and not everyone can go to a bank to get their money back. There are people who misuse information and lie to steal from people. Some poor people can lose their life savings. Some people buy into dishonest schemes thinking that they are going to make money. They do not usually make a lot off of it if anything. Often they lose their money. So, there are not only the dishonest that get involved. Sometimes people who are desperate for money get involved and do not find out until they too have lost over it. There are pyramid schemes, fake sale sites. So many ways that people find to perpetuate fraud on their fellow humans.
So, there is a high cost and I only discuss some of the ways. I don’t even touch upon some of the ways that they misuse information that hurts everyone. For example, my account on Facebook got locked because I had my cell phone broken and I couldn’t get the code sent to me. When I tried to get it back, they told me to give them my passport to get it back or other form of ID. You have to be kidding. I gave them my library card to test out….strangely enough this was not acceptable. I was not about to give a social networking site my official documentation copied or otherwise and there was no way they were going to get my SIN (Social Insurance Number) either. Others want SIN online. You’ve got to be joking. I avoid putting too much of my information online. It scares me. I don’t want to help people who are using information in a dishonest way.
The major thing I can suggest is that before you give out information to someone think about what it might be used for. No one should be asking online information like SIN etc. Even selling books, if you won’t give the USA the SIN, they can just take out the tax.
It is not something you have to give to anyone except Government. Even that, I’m wary about online. Most companies have been hacked. Banks are not immune, obviously from the start of this article, Governments are not immune. Just make sure to think about what you are giving for information and why you are giving it. No company and no entity online is immune from being hacked. Too many numbers are arbitrarily given out online for my comfort. But, each person must decide for themselves. Just make sure you know why you are doing it and if it seems worthwhile to you.
Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
Keep watching for more e-books and more formats! We’re always working on something. Thank you! The podcast mathing this blog post can be found on Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/The-World-of-Numbers-e1jfgu4
The World of Numbers – E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA Author A & J PEI Treasures
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