Internet thieves steal your time

By Jeff Linville - [email protected]

Some days it is hard not to feel like the whole world is gunning for you. Like the old saying: It’s not paranoia if everyone really is out to get you.

In this case, it’s everyone and everything related to the Internet.

Remember when the slow speed of dial-up was our biggest concern?

I miss the good old days compared to all of the problems we have now. Not only are viruses and worms more sophisticated, but the adware and malware are everywhere. One day the computer is working fine, the next day it is like someone poured molasses on the CPU.

What do we do? We download antivirus programs, run scheduled scans and try to avoid sketchy websites. But we still get infected.

As if that weren’t bad enough, websites seem bound and determined to infuriate all visitors. We have these “click-bait” stories and headlines that I am so very tired of seeing. See this amazing catch in a football game. You won’t believe what Lady Gaga is wearing on the red carpet. Men are growing massive muscles with new supplement.

You click on a link, spend three seconds looking over the page, roll your eyes and wonder why in the world you’re on this page.

There’s the “one simple trick” sites. Women are losing weight with this one simple trick. Men are better lovers with this one simple trick. Protect your pets from harm with this one simple trick.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the slide show.

You see something that catches your eye. The top 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. The top five highest-grossing films of all time. The top Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers.

You click on the link, get to the page and start to scroll down. Only, you can’t scroll because there is nothing there. No story at all. There is one picture, and you have to click on something in order to continue scrolling through photos to see the rest.

Only when you click on the right arrow, it turns out that was a trap. It isn’t the real arrow at all, but an advertising link. Usually you can either backtrack to the previous page or close the window that just opened, but there have been times when I could not get the browser to go back. That page is no longer accessible.

Heck, even if you do get lucky and find the right box to click, all that happens is that you get a sentence or two with the photo, then you have to click some more to see additional words and then finally advance to the next photo.

A simple top-10 list can take 25-30 clicks to reach the end.

Every time I have to endure one of these scams, I feel a little tickle in my right foot. An itch that could be scratched by finding the person responsible and kicking him or her firmly in the seat of the pants.

If I were at a car dealership and the salesman seemed sketchy, I would leave and go find a better place.

I have walked out of restaurants because of poor service. Somebody else deserves my business.

Unfortunately, these Internet scams are everywhere. Good luck avoiding all of the people trying to trick you out of your hard-earned time off.

If a company were trying to scam you out of your hard-earned cash, you would call the cops and have them arrested. Well, time is money, and someone is trying to take your time. But you can’t arrest anyone for that.

If there’s any way I can find a drop of solace in this mess, it’s that rich people have it just as bad as we do.

A wealthy man can drive a nicer car, live in a bigger house and enjoy fancier meals. However, there is just one Internet, and if millionaires want to surf the web, the time thieves steal from them, too.

Still, you readers should look on the bright side.

Newspapers really haven’t changed their format in a century. We give you the information you want right here on the printed page. You can see the photos and read the words without dodging pop-up ads.

Even the ads we do have are about local businesses and events that might interest readers.

People ask me how a newspaper can survive in today’s advanced technology. I say the newspaper is an oasis of serenity in an ocean of annoyance.

By Jeff Linville

[email protected]

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.

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