‘The internet was not built for safety’


David Koh, Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency chief executive, reminded the world that “The internet was not built for safety; it was designed for the quick sharing of information.”


The internet has become our way of life. Most of us work, shop, bank, and socialize online. It requires less of our precious resources of time, energy, and patience. However, the internet’s convenience does not make it any more safe.


Recently, a couple of researchers remotely hacked a Jeep with only their laptops. Sony famously had its databases hacked and thousands of employees’ personal information released. Target, Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, Staples, the U.S. Postal Service, KMart, and Dairy Queen have all been hacked in the last couple years. Celebrities have had their private photos leaked. These are major companies and powerful individuals, and they could not guarantee online security.


We need to remember that the internet was not built for safety. Our children and teenagers need to be taught that nothing is truly private online, and nothing is ever really gone. There is no need for panic, but there is great need for education and street smarts. Use secure passwords. Change them periodically. Do not produce, send, or store compromising images or messages on any electronic device. The internet is a fabulous tool, but so is a chainsaw. Both can be used constructively, but both can also be used with painful consequences.


To read more of Mr. Koh’s interview, click here.


For more information about internet safety, click here.


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