So far this term I have begun to familiarize myself with the world of digital security and personal privacy. I have conducted informational interviews with people who work in fields that are deeply intertwined with both privacy and security, and I have done several research dives into the underbelly of the hacking world, exploring topics such as Gamergate, identity theft, and how to safeguard your personal information. I’ve learned that as a society we have progressed to a point where in order to live comfortably and “normally,” it is almost necessary to sell your personal information (particularly to the “Big Five” tech companies, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook) for convenient services. Being accustomed to giving up personal information all the time leads to a culture in which we don’t treat private information as private, and adopt an “I’ve got nothing to hide” mentality. This can lead to huge personal issues such as identity theft, because the worry is not really about hiding, but rather about controlling your digital presence, and who can be you.
Aside from the research, I am also pursuing technical knowledge of cybersecurity, by following the online syllabus for Carleton’s cybersecurity course, and completing Lynda tutorials on web, server, and application security. I hope to use these skills moving forward to contribute to assessments of CMSs for our comparison project, and leverage these skills into professional opportunities in which I can learn more about the field and industry of security.