The technology landscape has changed so rapidly in the last decade it is almost unrecognisable today. With this innovation, rapid expansion and change comes a great number of opportunities to utilise technology for the greater good and improve the way businesses evolve and people live their lives. We have to face the challenges of technology.
As with many things there are 2 sides to technology, the Ying and Yang, the Pro’s and Cons, the Good v Evil. Technology has grabbed its fair share of headlines recently where clearly it has been used and exploited for the purposes of ‘Evil’. A frequent topic of debate in the press are examples of its abuse, more recently with the focus and arguments about encryption and also a reflection and issues faced by users of devices which fall under the Internet of Things (IoT) label.
I’m not about to argue about the virtues of encryption but focus on some of the lower hanging fruit and areas I believe we can all influence to protect ourselves while benefiting from the use of technology. It would be a little naïve to assume that your access and use of technology might not be compromised at some point or open to abuse in some way without you taking the necessary precautions….The ‘It will never happen to me’ syndrome. While we are quietly enjoying the benefits of our gadgets, let’s not lose sight of the potential challenges and abuses as we seek to exploit there many benefits.
There are 2 challenges that I have picked out which I believe we can all do something about. They are knowledge and complacency. Knowledge because we need more of it to understand the technology we are using if we are to better protect ourselves. Complacency because it’s just too easy to assume that everything is plug and play and it will sort itself out or that someone else is responsible for monitoring, securing or limiting any abuse. Unchecked these challenges represent greater risk as ever more sophisticated networks, technology and applications are exposed to our general use. They are also areas that we happen to have control or influence over, so we are in a position where we can actually make a difference to the status quo by bridging the gaps in both our knowledge and behaviour towards IT.
I believe that alongside our own personal contribution, it is also the job of every technology company or innovator to consider these challenges and the subsequent impact & role that they can play. It’s vital that they accommodate the necessary safeguards which will protect each of us against abuse of their services, devices or applications. Tech companies have an obligation to apply the lowest common denominator in every step, so while we are accommodating ease of use we are also protecting against potential abuse too. While I’m still astounded that people use ‘Password’ as their ‘Password’, I’m more disappointed that the provider of that Technology has not taken steps to prevent this in the first place. Failure to change our approach either as individuals or as companies and innovators will only embolden those who continue to exploit, pursue and undermine our society…
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