Some merits of the Internet include the wide availability of information and the potential to expand a customer base, while some demerits are viruses and the hacking of personal information. The Internet is one of the most lauded inventions of the 20th century, making it possible to connect with someone on the other side of the world or find out about a news event at the moment it happens.
Before the Internet, students had to go to the library and spend countless hours researching for academic projects. With search engines like Google and Yahoo, the average person has access to millions of sources of information within seconds. Meanwhile social networking sites make it much easier to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. From a business perspective, the Internet is a growing source of income for many vendors, as it is possible to advertise products and services very cheaply on a mass scale.
Despite all the benefits the Internet offers, there are downsides. Simply by clicking on the wrong thing, it is possible to pick up computer viruses, spyware and adware. With the presence of online banking services, thieves have more opportunities to steal personal information. Even accounting for protective systems such as firewalls, there are always hackers looking to destroy the lives of innocent victims, and the Internet provides them with extra possibilities.