Week Eight

Security – Final Post

All my life I have grown up in a world where digital and smart objects are incorporated into my every day life. From smart phones, smart fridges, smart cars, even a smart building security system for my apartment. The world around us is filled with all of these information-recording devices and this is getting sent and sold to companies for millions upon billions of dollars and it is not slowing down. As a kid, privacy was never was in my scope of beliefs or worry because I thought that these corporate businesses held me in their best-interest and wanted to protect me and my information.

hacking passwords
(Image via The Hacker News)


Data encryption is a first-line of defense, but it can be decrypted and it is in our best interest to keep our information safe.


I would not say I was naïve, but definitely not the most informed person out there as I grew up and out of these ego-centric idealisms. The world is a scary place and it is filled with creatures that just want a social security number to provide their luxuries. Learning this, I did have some basic privacy systems in place to ensure I would not be hacked or stolen from. Luckily, these have not failed me.

Now, after learning about how quickly the thieves and marauders are able to code and steal information from anywhere in the world, I want to start updating my current protection system. One thing that stood out to me during the lecture was two-factor authentication. This is not “new” software but I still think that more companies should adopt this if they have not already. For example, even with social media, Instagram is using the same service Arizona State uses for their employees to log in to their account. The only downside I can see to this is having a redirect number to have the authorization code being sent to the hacker instead of the intended user.

Image result for two-factor authentication
(Image via Secret Double Octopus)

Two factor authentication can be used in many forms from personal to professional information, and should be a standard second preventative measure. More and more businesses are creating or utilizing programs which allow their users to use this security device.

Besides two-factor authentication, I would also like to update my passwords as using the same password (or similar variations) is something which allows hackers to easily get into all of the sites they are looking for such as banking, emails, and credit card access. While looking for useful ways to better manage passwords and data privacy, I found this article from NBC News. The article also talks about two-factor authentication. However, the tips I found most useful were password managers and how those can help protect data as well as to make sure passwords use a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters.

Besides two-factor authentication, mixing passwords, and password managers, I think the world is becoming aware of the imminent danger their information is in. Additionally, I believe people are becoming more aware of   how valuable information is, previously seen as unimportant, can be to trained, malicious hackers. I want to make sure my information, as well as the people I care about, do not have to take retroactive actions and instead take precautionary measures to ensure their data is held securely.


Blogging Assignment #8- Law & Media

Before this module, I was aware of certain problems that made me hesitant on my own actions, but furthermore, put more stress on what will happen in the future as a result of these outcomes from topics such as censorship, net neutrality, copyright, privacy, and the concept of being erased from the internet. In a modern era, where a mass majority of consumers rely on internet websites to supply them with new information regarding innovations, social exchange, and ongoing problems across the world, it is no surprise that restrictions are to be discussed when discovering new sources.

It has been discussed that each country should conduct their own laws when concerning their nation’s priorities to their citizens. One that I feel would be a greater accomplishment, at least for the United States, would be the offer that Google can remove you from their search results. Unfortunately, the United States did not agree with Europe’s standpoint on the matter. When concerning Europe, the European union stated, “‘The balance between the right to privacy and the protection of personal data, on the one hand, and the freedom of information of internet users, on the other, is likely to vary significantly around the world.’” Given this statement, it seems far-fetched that we could come to a unanimous decision on the matter as a whole given its versatility across all nations. I see it as being more beneficial than detrimental to our situation, because people do make mistakes when they’re younger, and it’d be a greater loss to them to have one mistake define the rest of their future. I think if atonement was met, and there was a certain amount of years that have surpassed a threshold of relevancy, then it should be removed from servers, but archived for law enforcement for any future occurrences.

Given that we have seen law enforcement be an issue over the past few years, as videos have surfaced against their bias and judgement on people of color, it makes it hard to trust them. With their request for a back-end encryption key, I am in favor of the motion, but they must have stronger internal affairs working the situation in case a dirty cop decides to use this to their advantage. Government positions seem to be unaccounted for the same prosecutions when concerning regular citizens, since they are working with a higher agency, so I understand the hesitation to let this law pass for their benefit. As stated by Congress, “a telecommunications carrier shall not be responsible for decrypting, or ensuring the government’s ability to decrypt, any communication encrypted by a subscriber or customer, unless the encryption was provided by the carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication.” Comparing this statement to the system in place now, it doesn’t seem to abstract from the current state of enforcement. Law enforcement are already granted access to information if there is probable cause or an ongoing investigation, which can be supplied with a warrant. I don’t seem the problem of having carriers having to release the information if it is against their will and have to comply with legal obligations. Their consumers should not hold them accountable in that circumstance. With enough security and supervision over the bill, it could be enforced with limitations that are in place for current investigations, in order to make it only usable in specific criminal situations.

I think I will modify my privacy settings to be more secure to just my friends and myself, without having information leak out of the system. I think beyond adjusting that, it is really out of my control as to what happens with the information I provide online. I accept the consequences that follow any action I produce online, with the hope it will not be used against me in the future. I am more conscious of the language I wish to use when speaking my opinion on a certain matter, without engaging in arguments that may defeat my overall purpose of getting the message across. I think I would like to keep a more vague presence in the face of social media, where my photographs dominate the space, with the least amount of words possible, in order to leave my opinion up for interpretation to each viewer without setting them off.