Successful hacks these days are seemingly as regular as rain in Manchester 😭, sunshine in Spain and freezing cold conditions in Antarctica. One reason that I regularly write about security is to combat the knee-jerk reaction that many have when hearing about hacker-initiated attacks. This reaction includes some variant of "why would anyone WANT to attack little old me? I'm just not that important for anyone to waste their time with." Unfortunately, this kind of mindset itself discloses an unfortunate thought process that needs to be altered to safely coexist in the ever-changing world that we all inhabit. To think and subsequently act in this way promotes a lifestyle that DEFINITELY makes someone an absolute delight for the bad people to target and exploit for their own personal gain and unfortunately, to said target's pain and suffering.\n\nValue Yourself and Your Data\n\nBy saying that no one would be interested in attacking you, firstly devalues YOU as a person. For gosh sakes, give yourself more credit than that, as the hackers out there certainly do! Even if you have £10 left in your account, that would be £10 more in someone else's account should it be taken from you, and if they managed to steal your personal details as well, they could do a lot of damage if they opened a new credit card in your name 🤯.\n\nHanding over your credit card\n\nBuilding upon this, it simply isn't true to say that you are valueless. For example, when you enter your main place of work, actually think for a second about what you have access to. Computers, emails and shared drives with important company and client data? Filing cabinets full of records (in the current digital age, this actually still happens)? Zones that only certain people can access? Thinking about "just" work and these aspects, I hope you can appreciate why you are far more important than you realise.\n\nCyber Devastation\n\nIf someone manages to steal your price confidential information, your life could be left in absolute tatters. Identity fraud is a really big issue, and big money scams are rife, so we NEED to remain vigilant. You don't won't to be one of those people who loses their entire life savings as the result of an elaborate scam. No matter how small the amount of money you think you personally have, with the ubiquity hacking nowadays, the ability to attack higher numbers of victims in parallel is now totally viable. If 10,000 people each with £200 in their accounts are successfully scammed, then that is a tidy £2M payday 😱! That is a lot of money, so your "small" bank account adds up in the end!\n\nLot's and lot's of money!\n\nOn top of this, if a bad person digs up dirt and coerces you to act, you could be weaponised against your employer to perform tasks like exfiltration of sensitive data, spying and even causing very real damage. Would you risk the lives of your loved ones for the sake of plugging a USB stick into a corporate machine on your internal company network? If the will is strong, you can be made into a target so it pays to be careful.\n\nFinally, what if you actually aren't the primary target, but happen to be encapsulated within a wider campaign or even caught in the crossfire? You don't need to be targeted in order to be compromised, infected or in some way affected by an attack, so you should protect yourself just in case someone who is connected to you is targeted. Whether it is that phishing email sent from the account of a family member, or a piece of ransomware accidentally spread by USB stick when sharing files with your friend(s), we all need to be mindful that attacks can come from anywhere. All it takes is ONE successful exploit of a vulnerability for life to get a bit dicey, so remain vigilant and stay safe!\n\nSecurity is Everyone's Responsibility\n\nSecurity is everyone's responsibility, and it is important that we take the privacy and security of our data and personally identifyable information seriously. Whether we like it or not, our data is valuable, so much so that many companies have made a FORTUNE making US the product (e.g. Search Engines and Social Media). They collect and sell so much information about our daily lives to third parties. With this in mind, it is important that we treat our data with the respect that it deserves, and protect it with the appropriate security measures to keep it safe in the event of an attack. This way, we can carry on enjoying our lives, and worry less about the many dangers that exist out there on the world wide web.\n\nTake care and all the best, Si.