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The Internet's "Crisis of Trust"

Have You Ever Mistrusted the Internet? Part One

CNET's Matt Asay wrote a great article about what he calls the "web's crisis of trust." Basically he says that Internet commerce is not where it could be, because people are scared to make online transactions due to concerns about security. Can you trust a faceless user or retailer with not only your credit card info, but that the product will be what you expected?

Asay cites eBay, which uses their feedback system to regulate "trust" instead of high-level rules and regulations. I use eBay all the time, but I would bet that every one of us was hesitant to use eBay at first, because you think you're going to get screwed.

It's not just retailers we fear — what about Craigslist? When I moved to San Francisco, I used it to find roommates, a job, and furniture online. My family was scandalized that I used this impersonal web board to meet up with people — claiming that I didn't know what kind of weirdos were on there. Well I do know those weirdos, because now they're my friends, former roommates, coworkers, etc.

I often muse that if I had suffered from this "crisis of trust" with Craigslist, I wouldn't have what I do now. So, tell me, has a crisis of trust with the Internet ever kept you from buying or doing anything you found there?


Join The Conversation
swtkitten swtkitten 9 years
i'm very careful about where i do purchase items and the personal information i provide on the internet but theres lots of good things that have come out of using it for me. I trust it to a point. After that point...well im cautious
animatedpunk animatedpunk 9 years
Don't trust paypal. Be very careful when using it - especially as a seller.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I still have yet to purchase anything from eBay. I'm too scared to, even though I know people who buy all kinds of things on there. I shop at major e-tailers sin problemas. I almost bought a phone cover (i couldn't find any covers anywhere for my particular mobile) from a Hong Kong site, but ended up not going through with it because I was scared, although it did seem legit.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 9 years
I trust the internet's security - agree with thesmu though. You have to use your head! For Christmas, I wanted to buy my M-I-L a GPS unit, so i tried to find the garmin etrex legend for as cheap as possible and i found a "seedy" looking site with a super cheap price. I went ahead and ordered it. Didn't hear anything (not even an order confirmation) for 3 weeks, disputed the credit card purchase, had no problems. No funny charges showed up and then like 3 weeks ago, i got a call from the company and they told me that they had run out of stock and that they were going to credit my purchase. I was like - whatever, I already disputed it.
komler komler 9 years
There are good and bad both online and offline - you can just as easily get scammed in an ATM, restaurants, or other places offline as you can online. Craigslist vs. ads in the paper is the same. The "psychos" will be there no matter which medium you choose. As long as you're careful, and try to check the security of the sites prior to buying anything, I don't think there's a difference between online and offline. I mean, I wouldn't buy things from a site that looked seedy, but I wouldn't hand my credit card off to a seedy-looking waiter in a dive, either.
Meike Meike 9 years
Some Ebay sellers scare me off their page. Lol. For the most part, I'll shop at major online retailers or lesser known ones with professionally done websites through and through.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I try to handle as little important stuff online as possible (purchases, etc.), although I do use Craigslist for some things and haven't had a problem. My issue with trusting the Internet has more to do with research or the general dissemination of information, particularly on places like Wikipedia. Most of that stuff's good and reliable (and I've contributed to the Wiki), but I once Wikipedia'ed "butter" (don't ask) and in the Wikipedia entry, it stated that "butter is also used to rub on Kyle's belly." People have to remember that there are far fewer fact-checking standards for online information and research than there could be.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Other. I'm more "healthy skeptism but not to the point of fear". I'm not afraid, but I'm not gonna trust until I've done some research.
sarcastabtch sarcastabtch 9 years
I've never had any problems but if and when I do, I can see myself thinking differently.
Special-K Special-K 9 years
I have had a couple of bad experiences that made me weary of certain sights, but overall my internet experiences have been pretty much what I expected. As far as Craig's List goes, I met one of my best friends there!
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I don't trust the Internet as a whole - I am an online shopping fiend and I trust known areas of the internet. I'm not going to places I've never heard of and giving them my credit card info - but I totally trust Amazon and ebay and charted areas of the internet... and when something new comes along my path (like, Zappos was or say I wait to hear how others have fared (I heart the free overnight shipping of zappos, makes it easier than going shoe shopping sometimes!)
thesmu thesmu 9 years
well, you don't want to be dumb about it. the internet is just as varied as life - there are reputable firms and dodgy little con-artists here too. you just have to use your noggin really...
sahayra sahayra 9 years
Sometimes I mistrust the internet. There are scam artists out there. But I don't really have a problem with eBay or Craigslist.
Yaro67 Yaro67 9 years
I trust the internet now but there was a time when I was just as hesitant as the next person. You could use craigslist or the want ads in the local newspaper but get the same results weather good or bad. My hesitation resided once I had a friend hold my hand and help me make a few transactions on eBay, which in comparison to craigslist is a lot safer because of the use of comments from buyers and sellers.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
I tend to trust the internet. I've never had any problems.
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