This last week has been brutal to me. On top of the standard work stuff, and eight hours of travel in two days, I had to clean two different computers of crap. The lack of sleep and the anger of fixing this nonsense brings me to my question.
It is safe to say that the users of Hubski are not, for lack of a better term, normal internet users. We use adblock software ublock origin ftw and know how to not click on shady websites. We know how to google answers and weed out the crap and woo woo nonsense. We can get scholarly works to back up our arguments. We can type out a coherent argument (stick with me here!). We can write an email that makes sense with a subject, a greeting, a body and a signature. We know how to not click on infected ads, what those ads look like and how they work. Some if not most of us know to block Flash and Java from running wild and why the seemingly daily updates are important. (I hope all this is accurate, I really do.)
The number of people who cannot write a simple email flabbergasts me. Educated people in their 40's and 50's who cannot spell check, have a subject line in their message, understand the CC and BCC function and to stop hitting the "reply all" button are the norm; these are not dumb people, they have college degrees and were smart enough to get high level certifications. The next person who goes to Bing to search for Google, click on the google.com link, then do the search they wanted is going to make me break down into tears. The number of younger people who cannot tell the difference between Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, and why that difference is important is somewhere around 80%. The number of smart people that fall for clickbait and don't seem to care or understand how to weed it out from real news is another issue to fight, but at least they are not clicking on infected ads for the most part. And this is before we even get into the whole "I am not a computer person" line of talk where certain types of users will feign ignorance of "computers" while running an Etsy store on the work network after installing an adware/malware infected VPN connection. I had someone tell me that Netflix was not the Internet because it had TV shows. It is bad enough that my parents demand to use IE and call me once a month to fix the computers, but when I spend time at work dealing with coworkers who flat out cannot web surf in a responsible manner, something has to be done. And I think that it is going to be up to people like us to make it better.
My question for the Hubski userbase is this. How do we increase Internet literacy? I'm not talking about how to build a computer or how a CPU works, I am talking about how to use a search engine. How to write an email so you sound like an adult. What is and is not work appropriate web usage (and no, I am not talking about porn surprisingly). How to download a driver, or Windows Update, or install browser add-ons. I think we need to start by explaining why using Microsoft's Internet Explorer is bad. (and for those who don't know, if Firefox gets infected, you delete and reinstall Firefox. If IE gets infected you delete and reinstall Windows in many cases. IE infections are harder to fix and IE is a direct entrance vector to the core of the OS. Windows 10 fixes this, sorta.) I block some of the bad stuff at the router level and I get flack from people who know better. I'm out of ideas after fighting this problem on my own for what seems like decades. Does anyone here do any sort of internet use training that can offer me pointers?