Speaking of security…

// Posted by on 03/24/2012 (9:37 PM)

Renee’s post on dishwasher spying got me thinking about how secure we are versus how secure we think we are. It seems to be that we always think we are more secure than reality. The ability of the CIA to spy on us through our dishwasher, the Patriot Act, Stuxnet, webcam hacks, right on down to our bank accounts and even the information we provide to download apps on our iphones.


These examples only scratch the surface of all the ways that people can be spied on or have their information stolen and yet, it never seems to cross our mind. It feels like we are in a culture that is based on mistrust of people and of government but we trust our online banking and we trust our iphones. As can be seen in the comments on Renee’s post, among others,we are not deeply concerned with being hacked or stolen from. How is it that we can’t trust people but we can trust the machines and programs built by them to keep us safe?

Especially when it is so easy to hack into things. The kinect hack videos we see on youtube are harmless but if it’s that easy then what are people with malicious intent getting into?

There are companies out there that are working to make security better so that our confidence in wireless protection is well placed. And based on the cracking of the Stuxnet virus, large corporations are making good progress but it will be truly effective when average folk like us with nothing to hide can still have access to good security. In the mean time changing your passwords might be a good idea.

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Max said...

This is really one of the subjects that affects our peer group the most. I’m sure that if any of us looked through the apps we use on a regular basis through our smartphones, we’d better realize how much information is protected by the passwords we have on our devices. One particularly excellent example is the service of cookies on our web browsers. Mine certainly has the passwords to all the social media sites I use, along with school related accounts and email. Simply having access to someones’ computer (this isn’t necessarily including bank information) can serve the hacker to see all your photos, personal correspondance, contacts and any other media that we access everyday through our devices yet don’t think of as having any consequence to an outsider. One particularly interesting response our class had to the articles we’ve focused on concerning spying is that “I don’t really have anything to hide from the government.” However just because nuclear secrets aren’t hidden on our computers, doesn’t mean that you would like a stranger perusing through your digital life. If anything, our increased understanding of how much we immerse ourselves in the digital and the theoretical foundations that make up this world should teach us that these things we dismiss as mundane or not of interest to others is actually the very building blocks that make up our constructed digital identity.

// 03/26/2012 at 12:52 pm