My thoughts on computer security (strong passwords, antivirus, etc)

Hey guys;

So, after a lot of experience reading news/articles about computer security, I decided to put forward my own thoughts on this matter.

So, I know that all of you would have heard people saying, ‘use strong passwords’. Well…to be honest, I’m wondering…is this even necessary for normal/general use of internet services (Facebook, Skype, etc)? Think about it, we’re just ordinary, low-profile users who only use social networks and such for personal purposes; we’re not like top international researchers or top national/international politicians who have very high profile status in media. I think…to be honest, using strong, hard-to-remember passwords only makes our lives difficult. Moreover, nowadays these services are forcing us to do that, which means that the ethics of this needs to be called into question. According to Bentham, ethical things should make us happy. In this case, these services are forcing us to use strong passwords, of which we won’t be happy. Also, according to Kant’s theory of ethics, everyone has the equal right. In this context these social network services, and any other online services that we use, should have the same right to force us to use strong password, but…we also have the right of choosing not to, and…I think some services don’t even allow us to use weak passwords, which is…of course unethical, basing on Kant’s theory. 2-factor authentication is a new security, which, if to consider it based on the theories of Bentham and Kant, would be seen as unethical as it makes things more complicated for us, which is of course we won’t be happy, and…once again we have the right not to use it, but luckily this has remained optional for most online services I’ve used today. Another ancient philosopher is Aristotle. He suggests that to be ethical is showing good virtue. To apply it to this context, it may seem that the wish of these online services to protect us from hackers by making us use strong password is already a show of good virtue, but…if it is being forced, it is not really a show of good virtue, isn’t it?

Also, the necessity of an antivirus software needs to be called into question. Yes, we have the option not to, but…from what I saw is, people these days seem to just listen to what the majority has to say/do. I know it is quite important and to be honest I had one on my PC right now, but…like the use of strong passwords is antivirus really needed? Even if we all have top-rated antivirus software, that won’t solve the whole problem with computer viruses.

All in all, what I see is that…security experts are only trying to solve the computer security problems…at the very end of the problem, not at the start. By at the start, I mean…why do these people created computer viruses/hack into people’s online accounts? What social/economic factors motivated them to do so? Economic factors could include unemployment, low income, etc. Social factors could include stress, too much free time as a result of unemployment, and possibly others. I think…the key is…to identify why do these people created computer viruses/hack into online accounts in the first place, and try to get these people to stop doing that, by actually dig into non-ICT factors and actually solve the potential non-ICT problems these people might be having; I.E the problem of computer security might not even have anything to do with ICT in the first place! Instead, unequal distribution of wealth and employment/disparities in wealth and development might be the actual cause of all these computer security problems we’re facing today.

Also…to further expand on that; since I heard that most computer viruses come from China and Russia, I decided to look at the world core and periphery map, and…what I saw is…these countries where people say are the main sources of computer viruses, are non-core countries (Russia is a periphery country, China is a semi-periphery country). Now, what this tells me is that, the point I made earlier is clear to see; since semi periphery and periphery countries are generally less developed, Russia and China appears to be in this category. Yes, China is classified as a NIC with very high growth, but the distribution of this wealth is not equal. And…the conclusion that I can draw is, lower social and/or economic development are the main cause of computer security problems we faced today.

So…yeah guys, that’s pretty much what I got to say. If you’ve noticed, I’ve included stuff about ethics. That’s because at school, as part of my IB Diploma Program’s TOK subject, I studied about ethics, so…I feel like I want to bring it into context. And…some ideas I discussed, E.G core/periphery and disparities of wealth and eevelopment, I studied it as part of my IB Geography course, so I knew what they are.

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