Stalkers, Bullies & Hackers
One of the things that we need to understand is the nature and threat of the cyber security threat and how it effects people personally, how it affects their families, and how it affects their money. When most people think of cyber crime, they think of the evil masked genius in a far-off land, kind of like something like Eliot in Mr. Robot, and you have to wear the obligatory hoodie to look very, very sinister. I've seen and arrested lots of hackers. Most of them were not wearing masks at the time I brought them into custody, so this is not a good indicator of who the bad guys are. For most people, when you think of cyber crime, you think identity theft and credit card fraud. And you think well it's no big deal. I'm not really liable for any of the charges, and I'll just get a new credit card. Citibank will send me a new card. But I want you to understand that the threat is so much greater than just credit card fraud and identity theft. And I want to start off telling you the story of ...
Mat Honan. Mat Honan was a reporter for Wired Magazine, extremely well-regarded, and very very technologically savvy. And a few years ago, he was sitting at home with his infant daughter on his lap. It was 5 o'clock. He was getting ready for dinner. But first he had an important business phone call. He had a conference call. And so he was watching his iphone, and as he was playing with his daughter he noticed suddenly that his iphone powered down. And it was plugged in, so it was charged. He thought that was kind of weird, so he went to reboot it. And when he went to reboot it, all of a sudden he noticed when the screen came back on, that it was in the original factory reset mode, that it wasn't his regular iphone, but somebody had completely reset it. So he said no problem, I'll just do the call on my ipad. So he went over to that. Same exact thing. He saw the big white Apple logo, the entire thing had been erased. And then he said this is totally weird, and then he went to his computer, and it was wiped, remotely wiped. So all of his digital devices were wiped, and all of his data was lost. What was some of the data that he lost? Well, every single photograph that he had taken of his brand new baby daughter, from the time she was born in the hospital to the first car ride home, to her first steps evaporated into digital no man's land. Pictures of his grandparents, their wedding. Photographs of relatives who had passed away that he had scanned and thrown away the originals were now all gone. Every single one of his personal and professional contacts had been wiped from his address book. And eight years of gmail was erased, history. What the hell had just happened, right? Mat Honan turned into the digital invisible man. Somebody had hacked his life. And think about how much you rely upon all that data on your business emails, on your personal emails, on your address book, of how much you care for the ones you love in your life and how many digital photos and videos you've taken of them. Imagine the impact of that happening to you, having your whole digital life erased. That's what we're here to prevent today. It's not just credit card fraud. It's not just identity theft. By the way, it turns out Mat was hacked by a kid who decided that he wanted his Twitter account because Mat's Twitter account was @Mat. He's like that's cool, I'm going to hack Mat's entire life and just steal that because he could. Some young 17 year old kid was able to do that to Mat, and if he can do this to a highly technologically experienced reporter for Wired Magazine, he sure as hell can do it to you and me, so we need to be prepared. I'm also going to tell you later the story about Miss Teen America. She had her personal webcam hacked. So this was a 16 year old girl who had her webcam hacked, and the hacker was able to take naked pictures of her and then use those to extort her for sex, something called sextortion. So again, not just credit card. It affects people's personal lives. And this is the one statistic that really really makes me sad. It turns out that 20% of middle school students, so these are young kids, middle school students, have seriously considered suicide as a result of cyber bullying. Alright in my book, there's numerous stories of kids committing suicide as a result of cyber bullying, and I actually had to stop writing the book because the stories were so profound and sad. And this doesn't have to happen, right? There are steps that you can take to protect yourself. So that's why I want you to know how to do what I'm about to explain to you.