Thursday, August 7, 2014

Online Security Concerns

I've been thinking a lot about online security over the past several weeks, prompted by a request from a company to help them find people with migraines to try their app designed to help track symptoms and share information with our doctors.

I was reluctant because clearly online security isn't very secure. Major corporations, spending vast amounts of money, can't keep our credit card information secure. People can hack into our devices and activate our video cameras, watching and recording us. People can hack into our computers and record all of our keystrokes so even if the sites we visit are secure our info can still be taken. Even with firewalls and anti-virus software we are still vulnerable to cyber attacks. Especially on our mobile devices, which these days people use just as much as home computers.

It was on my mind and I was trying to decide if there was any way I could feel comfortable with the idea of putting my personal demographic information along with my specific medical information out into the vast cyber universe, giving up any kind of real control over what happens to it, when along comes the latest hacking story. Hopefully you saw this story. As you can imagine, I decided I couldn't bring myself to do it. I can just as easily keep track of things on my own, then control exactly who gets to see it. Sometimes the old-fashioned way of doing things is the best way.

When it comes down to it, nothing online will ever really be secure. All the passwords and encrypting that is done on websites is basically just a speed bump to a clever, determined hacker, giving us all a false sense of security. I probably will never be the kind of person who disconnects completely because I benefit greatly from being online, but I will always be very careful about what I do and what I share.

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