let’s talk about cyber, baby

Strangely enough, this post is inspired in part by Bridget and by presidential nominee Donald Trump. Bear with me.

Last week, Bridget helpfully detailed National Coffee Day promotions for the binge drinkers among us. In the spirit of holidays that may or may not have been made up by some random guy on his computer one day, I’m here to tell you that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. What does this have to do with The Donald? If you watched Monday night’s debate, you may have an idea.

I generally try my best not to discuss politics in polite company, but, honestly, how can you not be puzzled at Trump’s answer to the question of how to fend off cyber attacks? Clinton’s issues with the topic, aside.

In addition to agreeing with “parts of what Secretary Clinton said” on the danger of cyber warfare (though not on who’s responsible), Trump gave the following sound bite:

So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is β€” it is a huge problem. I have a son. He’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it’s hardly doable.

First things first, someone please tell him that “cyber” is not, in itself, a noun. I imagine his 10 year old son, teaching him how to use the Internet, and rolling his eyes when dear old Dad asks, “How do I post to The Facebook?”

In any case, it is fairly concerning that a man who may or may not become President of the United States gave such an incomprehensible answer to a fairly unknown and dangerous aspect of modern life. Technology has grown and entwined itself so quickly into our day-to-day actions it’s impossible to avoid the implications. Every week, it seems, there’s news of a data breach. I’m among the pessimistic sort that doesn’t expect my information to be kept safe in any sense of the word, I must admit. Regardless, though it’s not as exciting as a cup of coffee for 66 cents, NCSAM seems a heck of a lot more noteworthy.

In case you couldn’t guess, I’m not an expert. I don’t expect everyone else to be, either. But, no matter who you’re voting for in November, you should probably learn the basics of how to keep your data safe.

Russia, 400-pound hackers, or no.

mary


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