Ashley Madison Hack – A New Level of Impact

Real computer information security is highly dependent on the awareness and concern of individual computer device users. But people don’t view the security of their computers, pads and smart phones the same way they view the security of their cars, or houses or kids. On the whole, we are apathetic about the subject.
I have often tried to figure out why this is true, and I’ve heard several reasons such as: “Computers and technology are just too complicated and technical. I feel inadequate to the task.” Or “I have too many things to worry about already. I don’t need anything else to take a bite out of my quality time.” Or “So what if I get hacked!? The worst that can happen is that I’ll be embarrassed a bit or lose some of my money – I’ll still have my health, my family and my life!” Of all these mistaken ideas I think the last one is the most dangerous; not believing that anything really bad will happen to me and mine because of a hack.
For years my compatriots and I have discussed the idea that what will truly shock society awake is a hacking incident so severe that nobody can just ignore the subject anymore; a kind of cyber-Pearl Harbor. But none of us actually want to see “the big one” occur. We are hoping that smaller but still significant incidents will get the ball rolling.
The Ashley Madison hack is a small step in this direction that I hope people will embrace and learn from, because the consequences of this hack are a cut above what has been experienced by the everyday user in the past. Think of the marital unrest this has caused – think of the divorces, the tears, the kids that no longer feel safe and secure. Then there are the legal entanglements and lost jobs (both present and future) to consider. Awful!
But the biggest consequence of all is the loss of human life that has (and will in my opinion) come about because of this exposure. There have been a number of suicides already that are directly attributable to the Ashley Madison debacle, and I would be amazed if there weren’t some murders to accompany them as well. Is it worth human lives to be apathetic and unaware!? Let’s hope that folks decide it isn’t and take steps to protect themselves.

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