Too bad about hacking and scams but for many reasons computers and the internet are a wonderful invention. There's the ability to get great deals from people who have something to sell/get rid of that you need. Others are able to set up a small business and have a world-wide audience for their products.
One thing I particularly value is product reviews. I hardly buy anything or vacation anywhere without checking out various sources for opinions. Because I value reviews I make a point to do my part as fairly and objectively as possible. This is what makes the system work.
I think it's important to review anonymously. The review service, for example, TripAdvisor, will know who you are but don't make the mistake of identifying yourself publicly. How ever well-meaning and honest you are, if you criticize someone's product/accommodation they may seek revenge through on-line trolling and harassment. I remember reading once that colonies of habitués on GoodReads would delight in panning the books online of a particular author who somehow offended them. People perusing for books on Amazon would see a slew of one star reviews and back away.
I've never liked the fact that third party sellers of products purchased through Amazon can contact me and ask for a review although I don't believe they have my e-mail address but rather go through their seller link on Amazon. I was once contacted three times over a six week period by the seller of a ten dollar item, entreating me to leave a positive review since they were a small family owned business who depended on reviews to sell their product. On Ebay I have seen requests to the effect that you should contact them prior to leaving a negative review with the promise that they will make things right.
Some sites like Fiverr allow an author, YouTuber or product producer to buy reviews. This defeats the purpose. I've also heard of writing clubs with the practise of inundating a member's newly released book with a deluge of five star reviews on the first day it is available.
Sites like TripAdvisor and Amazon allow viewers to see how long the person has been reviewing and to read their previous reviews. Personally, I suspect one review posters, especially when they are over the top glowing and vague. A decent history of thoughtful reviews, both negative and positive, comes across as more reliable.
It has been my experience that the overall comments, especially repeated themes, in reviews of resorts, hotels, books, restaurants and products can be relied upon bearing in mind that people who are unhappy are more likely to complain than those who are satisfied with the service will praise it.
What do you think of reviews?