Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Online Privacy

In today’s young generation everyone is online. Many parents, teachers and guardians worry about their children being a victim to criminals searching for easy targets online. Online privacy is a growing fear on the mind of these caretakers. Having your identity stolen is much easier nowadays than 50 years ago. Furthermore, now it’s even easier for pedophiles to come in contact with the children of this time. Therefore, online privacy must be put at the top of the list to protect our young people. 

However, according to the article, “Teens and VentureInvestors Demand Online Safety and Privacy” written by Lora Kolodny in the Wall Street Journal explains that many teens are aware of the importance of online privacy and intend to protect themselves. This is a very admiral thing to do as a young person. 

According to the article, “Forty-four percent of teens surveyed count identity theft as their top concern, 32% worry their social media posts may create college application problems, and 30% worry their online behavior may get them in trouble at home. A majority of them use, and seek out privacy controls when they use social media.” These teens are taking pre-caution on their social media sites and protecting themselves not only from creepers, but protecting them from themselves. This may not make sense, but these teens are aware that what they display on the internet and on their personal sites can and will be detected by future schools and employers, therefore they must not post inappropriate things because it ultimately reflects back on them. 

Due to these privacy issues, social media sites like Facebook developed intense privacy settings to allow their users to control who saw their information and who did not. But many users not only do not trust these social media sites with their personal information they also may not understand how to operate such controls. Therefore, many users’ profiles lack such information. 

In addition, social media sites should offer helpful tips to educate their users on how-to set their privacy settings to further protect themselves. Because, privacy online is a growing factor in today’s world. According to the article, “Earlier this year, as VentureWire previously reported, a venture-backed San Francisco start-up called Skout–the creators of a mobile-social network, commonly regarded as a “flirting app”–decided to shut down the Skout teen community when pedophiles used it to target their eventual victims.” These instances happen and they happen often. Thus, we need to further educate ourselves to protect us and the ones we love.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cyber Warfare

An article in the New York Times titled “Iran’s Hand IsSuspected in Computer Attacks” written by Thom Shanker and David E. Sanger explains a recent attack of cyber warfare. Iranian government developed a cyber-attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry’s computer systems. Due to this silent and killer attack, Iranian government successfully crippled about 30,000 of Saudi Arabia’s systems by erasing files and overwriting them.

Even though Iran’s attack was not as powerful as something Russia or China has the potential to do, it still wreaked havoc among the Saudi’s systems. This has become a new threat to the world. Instead of going to war like we use in the past centuries, now we have a new threat through the internet. Due to the internet’s potential access to confidential files and special ops systems that is dealt with our government and military, our enemies could possibly have access to these files information. Or they could even erase essential information for America’s well-being. 

According to the article, James A. Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote Friday in an essay for, “Iran has discovered a new way to harass much sooner than expected, and the United States is ill-prepared to deal with it,” thus, we as American’s need to become more aware of these potential cyber threats, and develop constructive ways to help protect ourselves from these enemies. 

Iran is only one of many potential cyber threats. These attacks are not only happening between countries governments, but also between regular people and ordinary companies. These viruses can be conducted by anyone and sent through emails or websites, consequently putting everyone in risk. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of cyber-attacks. It has the potential to get stronger, more destructive and ultimately more frequent. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself, your files and your information kept on your private or work computers. 

Hopefully, in the near future America’s government and military will develop stronger fire walls to keep these threats away. Possibly even create a new style of protection for the civilians as well. Ultimately, now as a nation we not only have to worry about terrorist attacks consisting of plane crashes, bombs or shootings, we also need to be aware and possibly worry about attacks over the internet. This can be attacks from other countries or even attacks from within the own comfort of our nation.