ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - October 2001


Issue Highlight — A Day in the Life of a Fool
- A Day in the Life of a Fool asks whether
e-government will improve government or make
it more distant from those it is supposed to
serve without actually improving efficiency, as

 In This Issue...
The Big Bang Theory of Teambuilding and Leadership or Listen Up!
Just a Little Suggestion
Highly Satisfied Customers
Gotcha! Office Politics at Work

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change
Brief Cases

Return to NFC Index

   Brief Cases        Highlights of the Latest in Business News

                                    ne From Column B                                             

Hackers at Home

As viruses and worms continue to attack businesses, clearing out hard drives and shutting down Web sites, people rarely worry about assaults on their personal computers at home. According to a recent Wall Street Journal, hackers are out there and without you knowing are attacking your
computer daily.

  Of course, many people are completely unaware and that has experts worried. The CERT Coordination Center, a group of Carnegie Mellon University researchers who track and investigate Internet hacking, recently issued a warning about home PC vulnerability. “We have seen a marked increase in intruders specifically targeting home users,” the researchers said in a bulletin.

  What this means is that consumers are at risk and need to protect themselves. The best way to do this is by installing a firewall—a piece of software that watches over your computer’s communications with the Net. If it sees something suspicious, it blocks and records the attack. However, should there be any further responsibility for making the Web a safer place? Most PC manufacturers don't include firewall software. Neither do most big Internet service providers. Even though most recommend such protection, consumers have to get it on their own.

  And they better take notice. With more home PCs being connected by broadband connections such as cable modems and DSL, vulnerability is rising. “Consumers are more likely to leave these computers powered up to 24 hours a day,” the article states. “Their PCs are more likely to be found when hackers look for targets.”

  The hackers could be kids having some fun or criminals looking for credit-card numbers and other data. Either way, work isn't the only place you need to be careful.

Blinded by Magic

Although it seems like today's economy has spawned a culture of job jumpers, it does not mean that action has become the norm. In fact, individuals should think long and hard before jumping ship. According to a recent article appearing on, in many cases, the best advice is to stop, think, and stay.

  The problem facing employees is what the article terms “magical thinking.” In this state, we believe things will happen simply because we want them to. “Magical thinking leads us to overreact to temporary discomforts or turn up the volume on the mythical sirens of a new career.”

  So how can one recognize magical thinking before it is too late? Remember that careers develop and ripen over time. Even with new skills, experience is more valuable than expertise. In addition, remember that movies are fictional. Don't expect to leave a low-level position on Friday and enter into an executive-level position on Monday. It won't happen. Also, take your financial situation into account. Are you willing to bet the farm?

  In order to “curb the urge,” the article lays out a few simple steps. First, make sure you balance emotion with reason. Analyzation never hurt anyone. Second, conduct thorough research. “Information is the enemy of impulse.” Third, regularly test your standards with reality. As you move through life, make sure your goals are still aligned with your current state. And last, think ahead. Careful planning and clear thinking will help you strategically plan your future.

October 2001 News for a Change Homepage

  • Print this page
  • Save this page

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this item

View comments
Add comments
Comments FAQ

ASQ News