Social media philosophy blog
Monday August 21st 2017

The safetymilitude mindset

We are currently in the middle of a gigantic transformation of Internet use. Basically, social media, smart phones and cloud computing trends are egging each other on, opening up Internet use and aggregating information. Sets of information, personal information, professional information and collaborative information are increasingly connected to each other. Furthermore, as we have increasingly powerful access to information once we have the right password, this access has been distributed into many more nodes. As a result, prospects for cyber crime have never been better. Increasingly, if the criminal can access one of your passwords, he can access them all. That, in turn, can lead to identity theft, economic ruin, kidnapping of your computer (botnets) or all of these in combination.

My basic point is that we need to realise that our information is not safe. We tend to be lulled into thinking that everything is okay as we have an updated security software which gives a green light. However, cyber criminals will also have the same security software. Their day job is to bypass it. We cannot achieve total safety, only safetymilitude, coming as close as possible.

The “your computer is safe” message from our security programs is in a way dangerous. It creates a mindset where we delegate safety thinking to our solid security program. The safetymilitude mindset is different. If we know that our information is not completely safe, we could re-evaluate what we should and should not connect to the Internet.
In addition, we could re-evaluate our personal balance between convenience and safety. These two tend to go in different directions. More convenience, less safety and vice versa. Most of us need to strive for more safetymilitude, which means less convenience.
In order to bring my point home, I will write a series of posts on the theme “50 ways to steal your password”.

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