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Future Crimes

Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

By Marc Goodman
15-minute read
Audio available
Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

Future Crimes (2015) lucidly explores the dangers inherent in using today’s highly interconnected web of technologies. Through carelessness or ignorance, we make huge amounts of personal information available to criminals who would love nothing more than to exploit us.

  • Anyone who uses the internet on a daily basis
  • People who use social media on their smartphones
  • Those who believe technology will solve all our problems

Marc Goodman is an FBI futurist who has consulted organizations such as INTERPOL, the United Nations, NATO, the LAPD and US government on issues ranging from security to business to international affairs. He also serves as Global Security Advisor and Chair of Policy and Law at the NASA- and Google-sponsored Silicon Valley’s Singularity University.

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Future Crimes

Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

By Marc Goodman
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman
Synopsis

Future Crimes (2015) lucidly explores the dangers inherent in using today’s highly interconnected web of technologies. Through carelessness or ignorance, we make huge amounts of personal information available to criminals who would love nothing more than to exploit us.

Key idea 1 of 9

Having merged the “online” and the “offline” worlds, can we safely log out?

We’ve come a long way since the 1950s, when a single computer could barely fit inside a small building. Compare that with the world of today, where the iPhone in your pocket has more computing power than all of NASA during the Apollo 11 moon landing.

But nowadays, technology is more than machines and gadgets. Rather, it’s an essential part of our lives – so essential, in fact, that over 80 percent of us check our phones within the first few minutes of waking up. And then we keep the same phones within three feet of us at all times.

Our attachment to our phones can also be highly emotional. According to one US study, more than 90 percent of Americans feel high levels of anxiety if they forget their phone at home.

Similarly, research from 2013 showed that Americans were spending more than five hours online every single day! We book our doctor’s appointments, check our bank statements and health insurance bills online, and browse Facebook and Amazon without considering the digital footprint we’re leaving behind.

Often, our obsession with technology makes us forget that we’re putting our lives in the hands of software that can easily be hacked. This ignorance (or negligence) comes at a price.

One study showed that, about 75 percent of the time, hackers successfully infiltrated the devices they attacked within mere minutes. This could in part be due to the fact that in 2015 “123456” and “password” remained the most popular passwords.

To combat this, many companies have begun implementing multifactor authentication methods (e.g., using your password and a one-time code sent to you via SMS) to improve security. But you should nonetheless change your passwords regularly, keep them over 20 digits long and include numbers, symbols and spaces. Avoid being counted among the 50 percent of people who use the same password for all their online accounts.

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