Back in the 80s, popular culture had only one answer to the question, ‘Who ya’ gonna call?’ and TV and DVD have kept this fresh in in the minds of the next generation too. I could go two ways from here.
Firstly, if you’re not part of a wider community or employed by an organisation that can afford the luxury of IT support, when a virus, worm, or Trojan wheedles its way onto your computing equipment, ‘Who ya’ gonna call?’ to clean up the mess. Then there’s the source of that malware…the host. Was it from a web site that you had every reason to be comfortable with? Perhaps the second, and more searching question that you should have not left to instinct is, ‘Who ya’ gonna trust?’
Now the progeny of long-matured script kiddies is robbing our bank accounts and collecting incriminating evidence about dissidents in Iran and Syria (BBC News 30 May 2012). I use the word ‘incriminating’ advisedly…no good deed goes unpunished. Which is the version and which is the Apps store that we can be safe with? The more we become familiar, the more the real criminals will exploit us and there’s no one to tell who wants to listen. Our familiarity as computing becomes another utility – is creating a rich picking ground for the anarchists who would steal our freedom by defying the rules.
Trust (says Riegelsberger, Sasse, and McCarthy) is an attitude of positive expectation that one's vulnerabilities will not be exploited. Fight back, not by revolution and counter attack. The architects of the Bauhaus championed designs that could be achieved by the craftsmen. Let us slow down and find the ways to send all our information into the cyber architecture and come home again safely. Let’s be careful who we bring home.
And authorities: don’t abrogate responsibility by replacing governance with market forces. That’s no excuse.