Practicing Good Personal Cybersecurity Isn’t Just About Protecting Yourself

Remember: The internet is a network.

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Media Outlet: Slate

Josephine Wolff wrote for Slate about good personal cybersecurity:

Last Thanksgiving, while other people’s families were arguing about politics, my family and I managed to get into a fight over whether they should be paying more attention to the security of their computers and data. One insisted she doesn’t do any online banking; another pointed out that his email is incredibly boring; and, anyway, they pretty much all assume anyone who wanted to would be able to access everything anyway.
Computer security tools and tactics are a tough sell for many people: They’re not interested in learning about it, they don’t feel they have any particularly important data to protect, they can’t imagine that they would ever be interesting targets, or they don’t really believe they’ll be able to stop determined adversaries. I imagine those people (including my mother) feel about articles on how to configure a virtual private network or set up two-factor authentication roughly the way I feel about articles on how to turn old plastic bottles into sumo wrestler bowling pins.


Josephine Wolff was a Class of 2016 & 2017 Cybersecurity Initiative Fellow at New America, where she will write a book about cybersecurity incidents from the last decade, tracing their economic and legal aftermath and their impact on the current state of technical, social, and political lines of defense.