Is ‘Internet Doomsday’ for Real?

It seems we hear about one reason the world will end or the web will die almost every day. I suppose it all started with the Y2K phobia. Remember that? I do. I was 14 years old and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to play my computer games anymore. Some people were so scared they stocked up on bread milk and eggs. Alas, nothing really happened.

If you haven’t heard by now, there’s a little problem that a few hundred thousand people might run into today. Their internet will stop. Yep. Kaput. No access. Why? Well, a few months ago group of international hackers set up a program to take control of other computers in an advertising scam. Then the FBI got involved.

Your Tax Dollars at Work (in a Good Way!)

What happened next? Well, the FBI managed to track down the software used to control internet denizens’ computers and wanted to shut it down. They quickly found out that if they went ahead and shut down the servers the hackers were using, those infected would lose internet immediately. So, they decided to foot the bill for keeping the servers running (free of malicious software) until people could fix their machines.

Fast forward to today. July 9 is the day the servers will be shut down. If you’re still infected, you’re going to lose your internet access. Fortunately, the FBI paid a private company to set up a simple site dedicated to allowing the public to check their computers. You can check it here. Internet Providers have also prepped themselves to be ready for calls in regards to this issue. Of course, if you’re reading this now you’re probably safe, but it always feels good to know for sure.

So What Now? Why is this Important?

For everyone here at ContentEqualsMoney, this sort of internet scare can be concerning. While it looks like this time around won’t be a huge problem, there will be more in the future. We make our living by helping others grow their business online. The prospect of people losing their internet at the flick of a switch is like someone opening a door at your business and all the people get magically vacuumed out, leaving you confused, scared, and I suppose alone as well.

Of course, the benefits of doing business online far outweigh risks like these. If you and your business are moving onto the internet or already have a presence there, you should know there are a lot of people keeping an eye on these sorts of potential problems. We definitely watch out for things like this. Your internet provider will. Apparently the FBI is willing to (temporarily) foot the bill for keeping us safely connected too. So, thanks FBI! Here’s to another day connected to the wonderful web.

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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