My Oma is 107 years old. She’s been able to live with dignity for decades because of two of the most successful public policy programs in American history — Social Security and Medicare. So when I’m…
You may not be asking how vulnerable you are online because it isn’t a usual question you might hear or a topic you may not worry about. Its kind of a grey area for how much of our information is really out there and who has it. There are positive and negative sides to consuming oneself into the social media cyber world but many people may not know about the even greater threat which have been taken advantage of by hackers that likely have your information as well.
I began with trying to find, if any, the connections between phone time vs face to face conversations and came up with some troubling responses. In Apigee Institute’s 2014 Digital Impact Survey collaborating with Stanford University’s Mobile Innovation Group, they have concluded that “twenty-one percent of these top app users said they could not maintain a relationship with a significant other without the apps on their mobile device. Nineteen percent said they wouldn’t be able to find new friends. Seventeen Percent said they couldn’t do their jobs” (Apigee Institute). This new era of a strong reliance on personal devices is shifting how we maintain relationships with our peers, our will to create new friendships, and our everyday jobs. This is very worrisome for those who are asking if person to person contact is altering but it is not asking the real question of how our online presence is dangerous in any way. This steered me to ask if social media is the thing causing our security as individuals to become less secure. Possibly, more interconnectivity is bridging the gap between our own security to public information just waiting to be taken.
This steered me to concluding that identity thieves are the main factor for breaches in security. But then, while identity theft is a grand problem. I came onto even more troubling articles which highlight how our security is being attacked. If you don’t know about the massive company known as Equifax, you should. They are a credit reporting agency which more generally, they sell credit monitoring and fraud-prevention services directly to customers and businesses. Basically, they hold onto your vital information which you really wouldn’t want stolen. Very recently, in September 2017, Equifax reported that their company was breached by hackers. Equifax publicly said after the breach that what’s at risk “primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed” (Equifax). This is the scariest instance of online intrusion which I have seen and is the most dangerous case of how online presence negatively affect card holders today. This gets even worse because if you are an individual who is linked into a company which without your knowledge may be also connected to Equifax. Now, you are at risk from Equifax’s scandal which you thought you had no part of. You may think this is ridiculous, but this extra ‘middle business’ which interconnects you to Equifax is detrimental into keeping our security wholesome.
So it seems that online vulnerability is not what it seems it is. It isn’t identity thieves jumping into your garbage looking for shredded up documents. It is now a stage of huge multinational companies being hacked by unknown users anywhere in the world to get your information. Social media isn’t even the most detrimental online factor for us to be involved in. The real danger is companies with not enough walls to protect our vital data with. So how do we cure this? Do we completely get off the grid? Maybe not, possibly we just have to be careful not to have our information sent to massive companies but rather, invest in smaller companies which deal in the same business, which leads to a less likely chance for hacking to occur. Also, with venturing into smaller businesses, the interconnectivity that we saw with Equifax and other companies would not be prevalent. All in all, you would agree that this extremely frightening circumstances and should be more carefully monitored for the future of these businesses and the individuals who are trusting their information onto the businesses.
After reading lots of articles by bloggers that had started a couple years earlier than me I learned about Pivot. Pivot was a free CMS that you could use to blog. Pivot needed to be installed on a…
Some excerpts from and comments on Marshall McLuhan’s introduction to the second edition of ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man’ (1966) with some information about The McLuhan Institute…