EDITORIAL: Take the proper precautions for net safety

Computer Devil

Herald Staff

The issue: With the recent Anthem security hack, many WKU employees may have had their information stolen. 

Our stance: This incident is just another solemn reminder that electronically stored information isn’t always safe. It’s important to take as many actions as possible to protect one’s information. 


The storage of information on a technological platform is common in society today. It’s the most convenient way to condense the wealth of knowledge accumulated on a daily basis. As such, it’s important to realize the threat of having that information compromised is, and always will be, formidable. 

It’s more than time to shake off the notion that something can be truly, 100-percent protected. However, there are fairly simple measures any individual can take to improve the integrity of their devices. 

Many corporations use the cookies stored in your browser to determine your purchases, most frequently visited sites and other personal information. It’s also been admitted that the government stores the majority of anything you do on any platform — from Google searches to phone calls. Arguably the worst is the potential threat posed by hackers intending to steal sensitive data. In all cases, “data mining” is essentially limitless. 

Managing cookies varies from browser to browser, but popular programs, such as Ghostery, notify you of parties trying to access your cookies, allowing you the option to deny access. 

Encrypting your computer data is another relatively successful way to reduce your chances of being hacked. While the process is a bit too extensive to describe within the frame of this editorial, it is strongly encouraged. 

The most we can all do to protect ourselves is to use common sense. Don’t store your personal data on public websites. Don’t share your information with strangers. Stop thinking the cloud is a solution. It’s not. It’s actually less secure. 

Most of us grew up as the Internet did. Essentially, it’s been our closest confidant and best friend. But this friend is weak lipped and won’t keep your secrets. 

For one, don’t tell it anything you don’t want your mom to know. Your interest in the “furry” culture isn’t something she wants to visualize. 

Second, don’t post anything you don’t want your boss to see. Your significant other may have appreciated that picture, but your scuzzy boss is probably going to use it against you.

Finally, regulate what you share. Sharing pictures of every meal you eat is already taking it too far, but it’s still better than tagging where you live.