friday-rant
Security

Rant: Pointlessly scaremongering consumers about security

Security scares were pounding the news headlines for the best part of last year. There have been a constant flurry of security breaches… for what seems an age. Every company, or body, you’ve ever trusted has been hit one way or another and we all know it is going to keep on happening.

But as a consumer, there really isn’t all that much you can do about it. And carping and scaremongering might just serve to put people off.   

Because, sure, we can keep on changing our passwords and ensure they aren’t stupid things like 1234. If we’re super diligent we can even keep a crazy multi-tabbed spreadsheet of a million options so we don’t use the same one ever. But beyond that, um…

We have to put our faith somewhere. We have to leave our data with the companies we use. And, speaking for myself, although I’m a natural Luddite, I have to live in 2016.

Of course, there is a massive part of me that would rather keep all my cash in a brown envelope under a sneaky loose floorboard. I’m none too keen on storing all my valuables on some unknown datacentre somewhere. Or having my whole tiny world so handily easy to thieve on my smartphone. And I definitely don’t want everything about me to be findable through all those social networks its compulsory for me to be on for my job.

But then I don’t have that much choice. I can entirely change my life… or I can lump it. This doesn’t absolve all those third party companies of responsibility, of course. Far from it. But laying on the consumer scaremongering with a trowel isn’t helpful either.

Personally, I think it just makes people shrug and go: ‘Oh well, I’m doomed anyway’. And that just makes them more likely to punch their debit card details into a device connected to an unsecured wi-fi… to purchase something pointless from Dodgy-as-you-like-dot-com.

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