Security Tightens in Time of Unease

February 5, 2010Sparxoo

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After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration dialed-up its efforts to create a more secure America. Homeland Security was formed among many other security initiatives. Since then, the system has been put to the test, with such terrorist attempts as the Nigerian extremist’s efforts to detonate a chemical bomb on a plane approaching Detroit. Beyond terrorism, over the past year there has been a renewed fear regarding job, online, financial and home security.

Examples

Online Security — While the nature of social media is to connect and share information with other users, social networks are constantly challenged to keep unwanted users and information out of the site. Facebook has recently made several upgrades to its privacy and security. Since the content licensing disaster in early 2009, Facebook has been doing damage control by developing new privacy settings. These privacy settings enable users to manage which friends can view specific content (such as newsfeed, photo albums, etc).

Job Security — With companies shedding unnecessary positions and the unemployment rate teetering at 10 percent, there is a heightened fear of layoffs. Many people have taken their future in their own hands — giving rise the freelance workforce. An estimated 30 percent of the job market — or 42 million workers —  is made up of freelancers. By 2020, the freelance workforce will grow an estimated 10 percent.

Financial Security — The explosion of the financial sector can be attributed to confusing, misleading and unregulated dealings, such as credit default swaps (CDS). People found their 401(k)s shrink and retirement was put on hold. After the TARP bailout helped stabilized the financial sector, there was much anticipated reform to ensure such an event would never happen again. With strong lobbying firms in Congress, reform is turning into a draw-out battle between Wall Street and Main Street.

Stats

  • An estimated 30 percent of the job market — or 42 million workers —  is made up of freelancers and growing.
  • By 2020, the freelance workforce will grow an estimated 10 percent
  • The unemployment rate reached 9.4 percent in Nov 2009
  • The proposed Homeland Security budget for 2010 is $42.7 billion

Take Aways

  • Bringing in the outside help of freelancers can help you minimize many costs associated with full-time hires
  • If you have a shopping option on your website, emphasize the safety of the transaction. Consider buying additional software to reduce the risk of theft. Or, include a recognizable check-out system, such as PayPal.

Predictions

  • In our attempts to create a more secure nation, we will sacrifice freedoms and dignity. A great example of this is an airport security system that looks through your clothes. These full body scans have already been implemented in the Netherlands.
  • Internet technology will accelerate our ability to effectively communicate remotely. These advancements will lead to more digital freelancer jobs — pushing the estimated 10 percent increase in freelance jobs to over 15 percent.
  • In the face of low job security, the best way is to be your own boss is through small business ownership. Accordingly, there will be a rise in entrepreneurship.

Who’s On Trend

  • Facebook
  • All State

Read all of the 2010 trends here. (PDF)

Image by Andreas Herrmann from Stock.Xchng