Thursday, April 7, 2016

Security vs. Privacy: Our Vulnerability is Just the Beginning

My name is Rachelle Elbert, and within the topic of Open vs. Controlled I am focusing on how our emotional vulnerability online is increasing security breaches and privacy hacks. 

The most recent software update for the Apple iPhone, makes it impossible for even Apple to access your device without a security code. This makes it difficult, but not impossible for hackers to potentially steal your identity by accessing your device.
The Apple experience is designed to focus on our emotions and enhance our lifestyle; passions, dreams, empowerment, and imagination. They do this by providing sleek designs and easy-to-use devices. Apple has branded itself as trustworthy, secure, and simple, but even Apple has it's flaws. Although Apple is a safe product to use, we must be aware that our emotional attraction to brands like Apple can lead to dangerous vulnerability.

I believe that when new technology came out, and styles changed in the beginning of the 2000's, we became more worldly. Worldly in the way of liking nice stuff. It can boost our confidence, sets us apart from others, and makes us unique. Especially in the past two years have we been able to get away with any hairstyle, fashion sense, and activities we want. This growing empowerment has made us emotionally attached to our sense of identity as interpreted by other people, especially on social media.

Cyber attacks happen an average of 50 million per second.
Cyber War: It's happening now 
In order to fully understand how important personal security and privacy is, it is imperative to understand today’s constant threat of Cyber War looming over our heads. James R. Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, ranks cyber crime as the No. 1 national security threat. In the last year alone, our federal government fell victim to 61,000 cyber-security breaches that exposed records dating back to 1985 ( This exposure to personal files of U.S. government employees gives enemies personal and financial information that can cause their ruin, and the spilling of government secrets; coercion by information being a popular tactic in the war on information.

Our online presence defines us to the rest of the world, and with the accessibility hackers have to personal accounts, your personal and professional life can become victim to irreversible damage. Facebook admitted that in 2011, it was the target of 600,000 cyber attacks every day. On top of this, Iranian hackers broke into major U.S. banks causing millions of dollars in damages, and tried to shut down a dam in New York state. Also, two Pentagon officials admitted that in 2013, “Chinese computer spies raided the data banks of almost every major U.S. defense contractor and made off with some of the country’s most closely guarded technological secrets.” (

Social Media Trolls
Did you know that there is a special troll army in Moscow, that is specifically hired at a salary of $400,000/month to wage a massive disinformation campaign? They pump out 135 comments a shift, and are reportedly required to post 50 news articles while maintaining at least six Facebook and ten twitter accounts. (

Not only are we vulnerable to misinformation and life-ruining hackers, we are vulnerable to the chance our identity is stolen. Not only through social media, but through credit card and social security theft. So what are you going to do to protect yourself?

You can learn about security vs. privacy more in our group video here.

Emotionally Driven
With today's technological advances, our senses are the target of advertisements, articles, movies, television, and internet blogs. Our emotions are heightened as we are constantly exposed to emotional videos, visual threats, and computer screens, because every part of our senses are being ignited. This emotional spark can easily overrule logical thinking. Today's young adults seem to lack the motivation young adults had in the 1970's, and there is reason to believe that it is because of the simplicity and accessibility of information today. There is an ease to open communication and open accessibility, that when things go awry, emotions also go awry.

My name is Rachelle Elbert, and I am graduating with a BFA in Music Dance Theater. I call Brookfield, Wisconsin my home, although I plan on living in Orem, UT for the next few years. As a single female whose worked in many low-paying jobs, I have experienced a wide variety of people in this here Utah. I enjoy humans, and I enjoy listening to their problems and opinions. I have a passionate personality, but I pride myself on being a middle-ground peacemaker. I have opinions, but I accept the opinions of others and optimistically tolerate them. I believe that a society that quarrels is one that constantly develops new ideas and ways of doing things.

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