Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Photos Changed the Way We Think about Personal Security
In 2014, we saw hacks like we’d never seen before. And for the first time in history, hacking became a hot topic not only for people within the cyber-security community, but for anyone who has information online. That is, anyone with an email or Facebook account, and anyone who has ever shopped online.
Of all the major hacking attacks that happened last year (and there were quite a few), three stand out as the ones that finally brought the general public’s attention to the issue of cyber-security.
Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photo leak
Sometimes, it takes a celebrity to really make an issue hit a nerve. And with the August 2014 cyber-attack against Apple that exposed the private photographs of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities, people got to thinking about the potential consequences of storing private photographs online, even in what seem like secure, personal cloud storage services.
JP Morgan Chase bank hack
When the largest North American bank gets hacked and customers’ personal information is stolen, the “it won’t happen to me” mindset quickly fades into fear. The JP Morgan Chase hack saw over 70 million households and 7 million small businesses scrambling to regain control over their private information and minimize the damage caused by the theft of that information. This cyber-attack got the world wondering, “If banks aren’t safe from hackers, who is?” And rightfully so.
Sony Pictures Entertainment cyber-attack
No hacking attack has ever come close to causing the scope of damage the “Guardians of Peace,” as the group behind this attack calls itself, managed to achieve. This attack didn’t just take down the Sony Pictures’ computer systems. This attack didn’t only leak internal documents—about salaries, projects, plans and more—that were never meant to see the public eye. This attack didn’t just reveal the private information of tens of thousands of employees, including medical health information and social security numbers, which will have devastating consequences for them and their families for years to come. This attack went further and led to Sony initially canceling the release of “The Interview”—sparking outrage among moviegoers, film makers, and even Barak Obama—before changing its mind and releasing the film on digital platforms and in some theaters on Christmas day. This attack left everyone wondering how an anonymous threat from a small group of hackers could have the kind of power to impact an entire industry, and an entire nation.
With the 2014 hacks, it finally became clear that everyone—from mere casual computer user all the way up to the largest corporation—is vulnerable to hacking crimes that can have dire consequences. Moving forward, cyber-security will no longer be a “leave it to the experts” issue. It’s something everyone needs to think about—and do something about—if they expect to continue enjoying the conveniences of the internet in their personal and professional lives.
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