YOUNG VOICES: Embrace technology, but be cautious as well

2013-07-22T00:00:00Z 2013-07-22T12:02:10Z YOUNG VOICES: Embrace technology, but be cautious as wellBy Katie Goodrich nwitimes.com
July 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

In our hyper-connected world, security has become of utmost importance. People, not technology, have made our high-tech society problematic. We shouldn’t fear the technology; we should fear the people using the technology.

For instance, Facebook can be a private endeavor to socially network, but not everyone understands the ins and outs of their security and privacy settings. They inadvertently let the world see every detail of their personal lives. Phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, full names and photos are shared each day. If this information is not properly protected, an unfortunate turn of events can follow. Hackers can have a field day with information akin to that on Facebook profiles.

The Internet becomes a playground for hackers to run amuck. For example, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have been in headlines for their deeds. These recent examples are simply high profile cases, yet hacking occurs on a daily basis.

So should we be afraid? Paranoia sinks in upon hearing the horrors of what can happen in the technological thunderstorm. No matter how beneficial certain technology might be, part of the population will not embrace it, for they are afraid of the possible repercussions. There are two types of people: those who embrace technology and those who fear it.

However, we need to be a combination of the two. Society should embrace technology which simplifies and connects our lives. On the other hand, we need to be cautious and not blindly follow the advancements.

First, we should educate ourselves on the benefits and the risks. Then we can correctly size up the situation and decide how to react to the developments.

Online banking in particular causes uneasiness. Nevertheless, your information online is password protected, and you can delete your password and browsing history. You can check if a site is protected and secure. If you simply write a check, you have handed over your name, signature, and account number with no password.

Things are not always as they appear. You must do your research and decide what is safe and what is not.

Luckily, we have plenty of sources as a society. Technology specialists and bankers can help us determine when technology becomes dangerous. At a neighborhood watch meeting, guests inform the public about current scams and pass out pamphlets with tips on spotting and stopping swindlers.

While becoming more and more informed, technology becomes less scary. Although it can create a slippery slope for security, technology is as good as the person who employs it.

Know the ropes, and you will be safe and secure. We as a society just need to be wary of putting all our eggs into our technological baskets.

Katie Goodrich, of Hammond, is a 2013 graduate of Gavit High School. The opinions are the writer's.

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