The much publicized hacking cyber-attacks over this past weekend have brought this issue up for many people the world-wide.
As an IT geek, I’ve certainly been in-tune to it for a while. It’s a conundrum at times – even to those of us in the know – because perfect security is never possible. That however shouldn’t keep us from improving our security, privacy, and digital protections. I could go into how woefully bad everyone is about cyber-security, but for now suffice it to say it’s really needing help. On the other hand, there’s plenty of room for improvements and I’d like to offer as many quick, easy tips on this blog as I can. Because it’s such a large problem, there’s really no way to tackle all of it at once with a single blog, a single action, or even a single service contract with my business – Oak City IT. While I hope to provide services as I have already to many happy clients that are based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, the facts remain that I simply cannot address all that needs to be done in my professional life and my private life.
There is a distinct lack of technical literacy and it’s effects are growing exponentially as our technology improves rapidly and many of us just give up. Since so much of our lives are negotiated through things like sharing baby photos on instagram, colloborating in a database of clients at work, or even down to mundane things you don’t think about like traffic light controllers and ATM’s at your local bank. Many ATM’s still run Operating Systems that were vulnerable to this past weekend’s hacks, which means you may have had trouble getting cash even if you’ve got the funds in your account. It may seem daunting at times that technology is taking off and we either don’t have the time to learn it, don’t care to, or simply choose not to. But progress marches on and our best way forward is to help each other learn and utilize technology better in our daily lives. Instead of being afraid of the change, we can learn to embrace it and leverage it to continue doing the things we love and find fulfillment from doing.
I’m currently reading Marc Goodman’s book Future Crimes which is a great guide to how hacking and technological crime syndicates are currently using technology much better than law enforcement and the rest of us. He gives great advice after discussing the threats and I’d like to share the practical parts of that once I’m finished. My approach will be to make things easy, and where possible, fun, so that we can all work together to improve our digital lives – even those of us who think we don’t have any data. (Spoiler alert: you do). I’ve often said that “helping everyone helps everyone.” While that seems silly and redundant I mean that it’s actually good practice to help out other folks with things and ends up helping our communities which also include us ourselves, again benefiting from the benevolence. Plus, it makes life more fulfilling and fun!