Look mom. No applications.

This is a subject that’s boggled my mind for quite some time now. I was reading about someone using Google Calendar and it brought me back to an old belief that I just can’t shake.

Why do we trust Internet applications so much?

The old train of thought was security, security, security. You can’t trust people on the Internet. Why do so many people trust keeping their information somewhere in the world on a server. Do you know who’s watching that server? Do you trust them that much? I’m not saying Google doesn’t have tons of security in place and policies about what people see of your data but I’m nervous using the same password on multiple websites because I’m trusting that it’s being encrypted on their end.

There are so many products now that are online. You don’t even have to have any programs on your PC at all. I LOVE this concept in theory. Zoho offers a full office suite online. It’s a nice solution. Then you have Google’s online applications and Zimbra for email. It’s great but at what cost to you or your company? As rare as it is the Internet has gone down for some crazy reason your Internet provider gives. Your whole company is totally offline now and can’t work because all their applications are on line.

Here’s your handy computer guys’ prescription but please tell me your thoughts on this issue. I say if you want the mobility to go to any computer and do work anywhere, fine. Get a USB memory stick and go to www.portableapps.com and get the products you want and put them on the stick and save to the stick. If you just want to have applications like the big boys but don’t want to spend the big boys money there are open source applications like OpenOffice and Thunderbird that do more than some of the expensive Microsoft applications… or just check www.sourceforge.net for more programs. I love the OpenOffice route because it works on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

In short, I love these online programs but I’m just too paranoid about using them. It’s like living in room with mirrors and you don’t know what’s on the other side of the walls. All the mirrors could be double sided and you’re just being watched like a police station interrogation room. If you’re the person who believes he has nothing to hide or steal I can find some identity fraud criminal that would love to talk to you.

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