I can just see it now: Millennials are scrolling past this – thinking to themselves, “Eh, whatever, just another company that got hacked and is in the news.” I have to admit, it’s easy to overlook the cyber-attacks and the constant barrage of data hacks that are transpiring on a daily basis because most people feel relatively helpless against them.
You’re either in a store using your debit card, or you are doing something online – and then a few days later you hear about that store, or online entity having been targeted in a cyber-attack compromising sensitive personal information.
This though impacts millennials far more than it impacts other generations largely due to the increased presence that millennials have online compared to those other generations. Here are a list of just the immediate reasons why the Sony hack really should matter to everyone, no matter what your age, or “social class” is.
1. 1.5 million cyber-attacks have happened since 2013, according to IBM. Most people will remember the Target data breach, the Home Depot data breach, as well as the Sony data breach of recent days. Data breaches and compromises of online security happen every day – and we’re talking about thousands of them.
2. The companies paying the most for “cyber security” are often most-vulnerable. A ThreatTrack Security poll pointed out recently that 97% of executives who have security budgets over $1 million were also concerned about their vulnerability. That means using those “larger” and “more-reputable” platforms isn’t solely the answer.
3. The same poll showed 69% of those executives were afraid they wouldn’t be able to stop a cyber-threat.
4. Data breaches take months, or years to discover. Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigation reported showed that 66% of those whose information was compromised took months – or even years to fully-discover.
5. Cyber-attacks have become the “payback” of the Digital Age. It’s no longer a media campaign or smear-tactics. People have now jumped to hitting a company where it hurts those most – and where it costs those most. The United States is the most-expensive country in the world to suffer a data breach – on average costing a company more than $5 million dollars.
6. Speaking of payback, people tell to seek revenge online – pretty universally. It’s the new format and platform of choice for those who don’t like, don’t agree, or just want to agitate someone or something.
7. Everything is online, even if you are not. Even if you disconnect yourself entirely, and you burn your computer, smartphone, tablet – and any other piece of technology that you own – you still exist online. You employer, the companies you do business with, the stores you visit – all have your data logged online, thus creating an online profile of your existence. So, abstaining from the internet and technology isn’t the answer either.
8. Most people don’t even know what they would do if they were “hacked.” To be fair, very few people even know what being “hacked” means because it can mean a few hundred, or thousand different things. Even those who are fairly tech-savvy don’t have all of the answers.
9. If a financial profile isn’t bad enough, [hackers] can even gain access to your “social networks.” And they have everything else on them that isn’t financial. Friends, family members, relationships, and then don’t forget about all of the regrettable things that were shared and posted to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too.
10. Now, payments are even being made with smartphones. More transactions in more places online, and that means they’re databased in more places. Don’t get me wrong, I think Apple Pay is great, but it’s another opportunity for those who seek information that isn’t theirs an opportunity to obtain that information illegally.
Really, what we’re talking about here is simply taking a moment to understand the scope of the content that is online – and understanding that no one is really excluded from being “found” online. Whether it’s a bank statement, status update from 2-years ago, or a payment you made to your electric company – it’s all databased, and your sensitive personal information is tied to that.
That’s probably the biggest area that those who use technology the most – young people – really need to see the scope of what’s online. Everything you say, everything you do, everything you buy, is all visible when security is compromised. That should be enough motivation to promote more *SELF-AWARENESS* but then again, it probably will not.