|Sometimes I worry that I am actually trapped in the Matrix...|
I somehow stumbled upon this news article, which led me to this FAR more terrifying one. The second one (which is the most important one) is long, I know, but it's SUPER important and I implore you to please read it right now. Don't worry...I'll wait.
Fine, you don't want to read something that long, then I'll quickly summarize. Basically, a hacker got into a senior writer from Wired's online accounts, detonated a grenade in the center of them, and cost him, among other things, all of the photos of his child's life up to that point.
Just when you thought the digital space was safe right?
The original article has more than enough information about how this horrible thing happened, and some of the things that you can do to better protect yourself, so that's not what this post is about either. What this post is about, as per usual, is the politics of privacy in our digital age.
See, I have this blog here. I use my real name as the domain. On twitter, in the spirit of full disclosure, I let people know where I work. There are sometimes pictures of me, not to mention a video of me for the whole world to see every...single...monday. Needless to say, there are days that I feel way too exposed, and worry a little about the impact it might have on my otherwise very private life.
This article forced me to reflect on my internet identity, and how very fragile our digital ecosystem can be. It also reminded me that we need to be cognizant of the fact that while we love seeing cat videos and whatever awesome photo George Takai has put up on his Facebook page, we need to be ever vigilant in protecting ourselves from hackers and the like.
From a political perspective, relying on government in this instances is sadly just not an option. Governments are perennially playing catch-up in our modern era. Hell, in Canada we're still fighting about copyrights for ipods, let alone digital safety. Now, we have given Facebook a rough ride through our privacy commissioner, but given how fast the internet evolves, no matter who's running Ottawa, things will be slow.
Given all of this, you have to LEARN from these examples. Go to your gmail account (if you have one) and set up two stage log in. For those of you who use cloud computing, seriously consider just how much of your life lives in one place.
Most of all you have to remember, this person's password wasn't stolen, nor was anything other than publicly available information needed to get the hacking started. Thus, you have to stay vigilant, and never forget you are vulnerable on the internet.
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