A Millennial’s outlook on Cybersecurity

I am someone that is easily intrigued by things, but there are somethings that are just more interesting than others. Not that the “other” things are bad, it’s just that they don’t grab my attention as well as other things. One of those things is cybersecurity; however, it was not always like that. My minor is now in applied computer security, but I was previously a web development minor. I can save that story for some other time, but this article is going to be more so my outlook on cybersecurity as a millennial compared to some of my friends and how large of an impact I believe it will play as part of our future.

My outlook on cybersecurity is similar with some of the other people of my generation, while still being different from many. In this day and age there is little privacy, we are moving towards sharing everything. The sharing economy, sharing our photos on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, etc. What most people don’t think about is how much information about themselves they are making available to the public (public as in friends and family, but strangers as well). They will check in to various locations on Facebook so that every one of their friends will be able to know that they’ve done and where they’ve gone. At this day and age it is more about what did you do and if it will make other people jealous. You take photos to show off to other people and to show how fun you are, but it also makes your information available for others to find. They can all be used into the scheme of hacking and social engineering. For those of you who do not know what social engineering is, is simply put as hacking people instead of hacking computers and devices. The person tries to learn as much as they can about you to try and build strong relationships to try and get what they want out of you. They can just be trying to convince you of something, or it can be some relationship that they will use later on to use to their advantage. This is the whole idea of being able to use social engineering to get someone to do something for you.

Another thing is that a lot of my friends have Macs and they think that they won’t get hacked. Apple did a great job at brainwashing people to think that because of their old advertisements. This is one of them that was aired over 7 years ago:

Sadly, that is not the case. There are viruses that run on the Mac operating system and they can be different. Some of them look friendly, and some of them can run in the background of your system for a while. It may not be the similar ones that you might see on Windows computers like the wannaCry malware. One could be that there will be an additional window that pops up whenever you open a link, there could be an application that is running in the background taking up CPU, they could just be logging the keystrokes that you are making, or there are so many other possibilities that you can think of that might not be so obvious that they have happened to you.

I have some friends that think that if there really is someone watching them through their webcam, that the little green light next to the camera that shows up when you are using the camera for Facetime and such would turn on. But little do they know that just because hackers can hack into the system to view the webcam, means that they most likely know how to turn off the light for it as well. I did not get my first webcam cover until this past year at a USC Career Fair. I got it from Netscope and thought that it was literally the coolest thing ever, until I attended the RSA Conference in San Francisco in February and got about 20 more. But it was good because I was able to give them out to my family and friends.

I think just most of the millennials do not think about privacy and are used to vlogging, tweeting, posting their statuses without really thinking about why and what can other people do with that data/information that they are releasing. I am also pretty weary about the internet of things and smart home devices. Having everything connected means that they are all hackable as well and that they are all possible candidates to be part of a botnet to carry out a large DDoS attack.

Currently, and in the future things will continue and will change. Wars are no longer fought on the field, as mentioned in the film Snowden (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3774114/?ref_=nv_sr_1). but the future will be fought on in the digital field. We have already seen it with some countries that are being hacked and intellectual data being stolen (Sony and Netflix hack as examples). There is even such thing as Hacking Insurance now (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wannacry-ransomware-hack-cyber-insurance/), which I found out to be surprising and somewhat necessary. I think that it is important because sometimes it is not the company’s fault for getting hacked if it is a vulnerability that they did not know about.

Any who, these are just some of my quick thoughts from my perspective. I don’t really know what else I will be writing about, but I’d like to get some feedback/comments if anyone is reading this. I’m generally a person that jumps from one thing to another without much of a transition or anything and would like to work on that, so any feedback would be great thanks.

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