Insecurity, Part Three
Last week’s post ended with three questions: Why are we under attack? Who will protect us? Is there no hope for privacy? Here’s three more: Why do I have to do this? How did this problem get so bad? Does my life have to be this complicated?
The most important piece of advice I can give is this: choose carefully. All the concerns in the previous paragraph can be minimized by making good choices. You can do more with less if you simply buy less, and that includes the “free” stuff.
Far too many people buy new technology as fast as it’s announced. They’ll stand in line all night and dive deeper into debt to have the next great thing. Until the next great thing.
The cost of new technology goes far beyond dollars. It burns up your time and punches new holes in what’s left of your security. No matter how dazzling new technology is, you must see past the fun. What are the risks? How much of your life is at stake?
Media extols new technology, but ads are only the good news. Who will tell you about the downside of using public WiFi—whether for email, selfies, or shopping. Sites won’t warn you. Convenience trumps safety when banks push mobile banking.
Saying your data on the Internet is on a Cloud
Advertising is all about appearances. Buyer Beware won’t reveal reality. If you want reality, you’ll have work hard and dig deep, Reality is where the risks are. Appearances can hide the risks.
Clouds are as irrelevant as the speed of Google searches. Speed only counts if you get what you want and get out. Google searches aren’t fast if you don’t get what you need right away. Google wants you looking (at ads), not finding. That’s browsing.
Finding is what the Internet does. And tracking. If this was a game, you would be IT (pun intended). When you’re online, how many people are looking at you? Literally if you’re Skyping.
GPS or triangulation reveals where you are. Texting or email speaks your thoughts. A selfie will pick you out of today’s lineup. We have lost any possible expectation of privacy.
What technology doesn’t bother to tell you is what makes the hacker’s job easier. The less you’re aware of exactly how and to what extent you are at risk, the more likely you will be a loser.
Clearly, the best we can do is minimize our losses. Web sites won’t help us; software can’t be bothered; government only listens to lobbies. We have to protect ourselves—and each other.